Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marriage and Peanut Butter Fun Cake




I was standing in front of six couples who were sitting around tables that were covered with black tablecloths, candles and a vase of purple flowers in the middle. We had just watched the first Alpha Pre-Marriage session and it was time for Witt and I to close out the night by sharing the story of how we met and what we have learned about communication in our marriage, the topic of the DVD. The course is something our church is offering for couples who are thinking of getting married or are engaged. I was surprised how much fun I had sharing some of our struggles with conflict and how easy it felt to stand there and speak and laugh in front of everyone. I like public speaking. I think I surprised Witt, since if I see someone I know in the store I usually careen my cart down the other isle to avoid speaking to them. (I'm working on that). The couples were really cool and it was fun to chat and hear their stories. As we were cleaning up and telling everyone good night I just got this strange feeling like WHAT are we doing leading a marriage course. We just got married yesterday! I still scream at Witt and throw pillows at him when he won't listen to me. Sometimes he forgets to introduce me when we run into someone he knows. It's hard to believe we have already been married almost two years but I think that's what will help us to be real. We are still there, some of it is still new, there are still stories that we haven't shared, there are battles we've just conquered and the strength of getting through the difficulty of the first year is right under our belt. I like not being an expert. I want to relate. I want to say, it's not always easy but it's always worth it. It's fun. It's hard. It's the best part of my life.



Gypsy Slow Down


I said in my last post that I was going to make chocolate cake for the dessert that night. With peanut butter and chocolate, you can't go wrong. The cake batter was really easy and has no eggs or dairy. In the Bon Appetit magazine they said that the batter is actually from a recipe dating from the Great Depression, when butter and eggs were a luxury. I wanted to make the peanut butter topping from the magazine but I ran out of time and so I just made a peanut butter cream cheese icing. Here is the original recipe, if you want to make it like they did.



Gypsy Slow Down


Peanut Butter Fun Cake
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)


Peanut Butter Cream
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped 
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
I used all natural peanut butter, which isn't as sweet, so if you use other peanut butters you may need less sugar. Add sugar to taste.


Topping
1/4 chopped peanuts
1/4 chopped semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate


Preheat oven to 350°. Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Whisk flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups water; whisk until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a tester comes out clean when inserted into center, 35–40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Beat cream cheese with peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Spread generously over cake and top with chocolate and nuts. Serves about 16.




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