Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chocolate and peanut butter cake

My night's still include many wakings to tend to my little one's voracious hunger which, after almost seven months, continues to conquer her desire to stay within her dreams.
But something new and horrifying has begun to plague our darkest hours together; night terrors.

Recently I am awakening to the bloodcurdling screams of a tiny tot, eyes open in fear, body wrenching in distress. Despite being beside her she is unable to be soothed by my touch or my face as she remains trapped in between the sleep and wakeful states. Luckily most end within seconds after which she awakes as if nothing has happened and settles in for a quick drink. Unfortunately there are some that even the brightest of lights can't seem to penetrate and I have to simply hold her to my chest and wait for her to find her own way through the confusion.

After a call to my own mother, I discovered that both my brother and I used to experience these terrors frequently. Determined to hopefully allow my sweetheart a night filled with only the loveliest dreams I set about eliminating any possible cause I could (lack of sleep, negative people, lights), some I could not, like her current bout of teething (which I believe may be the most likely cause). I also tried many alternative suggestions of prevention such as cleansing our home and using amethyst and rose quartz to bring about peaceful slumber. Last night she only exhaled one brief cry before immediately falling back into dreamland. Hopefully it was also the last.

To those with children, have you had any experience of night terrors? If so, what did you find helped?

Needless to say that after a night filled with these startling occurrences I was a little rattled during the day and found myself needing some soothing of my own. For me, that meant baking something rich and somewhat ludicrous for just two people to consume. With my little Valentine watching from her playgym, practicing to crawl (which she also hilariously does in her sleep) I beat and folded, spooned and baked, frosted and licked this beast of a cake into existence. After which I felt much better.

ease: 4/5.
prep time: 26mins to cook cake and make peanut butter frosting.
cooking time: 45mins to cool cakes to frost with frosting and ganache.
total: 1hour & 11mins.

taste: 3.5/5. Holy heck that's a whole lotta sugar!

All together this packs a saccharine punch that almost gave me a tummy ache (that being said I did cut my regular size slab slice, so for this I would suggest a petit slice).

Let's start with the chocolate cake - delicious, moist, sticky and always seconds away from falling to pieces. Luckily I took Deb's suggestion of sticking it in the fridge before assembling, and I still had a tiny bit break off. That aside it was a delicious cake.

The peanut butter frosting - mmm yummy! Fluffy, buttery, sweet and full of peanuty goodness. Loved it.

The ganache set perfectly mid drip (cake was cold when I poured it on) and looked fab. I used a 70% dark chocolate which was too dark for this cake, I really think that peanut butter goes best with milk chocolate, the dark was too bitter, and I preferred the cake without it.

The cake was lovely, just too sugary for my liking.

would I make it again: Yes, after the requests from other family members to make it again I will definitely give it another shot, perhaps with a milk chocolate ganache this time and a touch less sugar overall.



  1. I think, when I had nightmares as a kid, I'd generally just lie in bed crying louder and louder until my mum came to cuddle me! I wish she'd come with chocolate and peanut butter cake :P But in all seriousness, I hope your daughter finds peace in sleep soon.

  2. I've made this cake before and it is truly amazing. LOVE it. Yours looks wonderful.

  3. I don't think you can get anymore soothing than chocolate and peanut butter, yummm. One of my favorite combinations, it looks delicious! And I hope you daughter's nightmares stop real soon.

  4. I can see why you wanted to try this cake alluring!! No tips from me, I'm afraid. Just well wishes, hoping your little one gets through teething ok and those nasty night terrors stop! Must be awful to watch her go through that.
    Heidi xo

  5. Here is a link from my most trusted source, Dr. Sears, not sure if you know of his writings....

    We did not experience night terrors with Roman. But nighttime has been a time for "full-on-parenting" as i call it, since we never "sleep trained" him or did the cry it out method which is so popular now a days. since the little ones get their teeth and it's very painful, I preferred to be there for him to help him through it- I'm not sure how anyone could sleep through that. Now he is 2 and a half and just starting to sleep through the night. That's about 2 years later than most of his peers, by what I hear- but whatever. he gets the rest he needs and now slowly I will start to as well.

    Because the demands of parenting are so great, it's important to treat yourself kindly when you can, even if it means a huge cake for two people....I often forget that i need to do this (in whatever form) and then I get a bit burned out.

    Courage to you! This too will pass.

  6. Wish I could help three never went through that. My DIL tells me her son is having them though.
    Your cake looks wonderful; I had copied it from SK but still haven't made it.

  7. Thank you all for your well wishes :)

    And Nicole, I am very familiar with Dr Sears, as I use the attachment parenting style. And even though I only get 3 hours of sleep a night due to the little one's feeding habits, I don't mind as soon enough I will have the rest of my life to sleep 8 hours each night without my babies beside me so I treasure these sleepless nights as I know I will eventually miss them.

  8. WOW this cake looks amazing.

    Im so sorry your little one is going through the horrid night terrors! How traumatic for both of you :( Hope little V is feeling much better now :)

  9. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing...

  10. Wow love your recipes, I am currently installing a new kitchen and compiling a list of many many recipes that Im just dying to cook when this is complete. Definately adding this one to this list. YUMMO!!

  11. It's really a yummy & delicious recipe. I love chocolate & peanut butter cake and I can't more wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.