Friday, April 6, 2012

A Slice of Humble Pie (and One of a Giant Peanut Butter Cup)

Preparations for the Resurrection Party for Easter have been going on for months. When I volunteered to head up the bread, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought maybe I'd make a few loaves and get a bunch from the bakery at which I work. Easy Peasy. Not the case. Instead we decided to make a couple hundred flat breads and even more crackers. Hundreds and hundreds!

Now, being in charge of making a lot of bread is something I can do. Directing other people in this, however, I wasn't so sure. Delegating is not one of my strong suits, nor is patience. So spending the evening delegating responsibilities and letting people take care of things I'd rather do myself was a discipline. And a necessary one.

So, on Wednesday we gathered the home community together and got to measuring, mixing, rolling, shaping, baking, and just about anything else you do to dough. Because I knew it would be a long (and I mean LONG) night, I thought that an extra special treat would be just thing to keep the gang happy. This creation of mine, a huge peanut butter cup, was just the thing.

Fleet of mixers prepped to mix dozens and dozens of pounds of dough!
As I took little breaks throughout the night, to eat bits of cake, scrub my hands of dough, and take some deep breaths away from the inhalation of flour (and flour, and flour), I took moment to stop and appreciate, allowing myself to be amazed--completely amazed--by the abilities of my community. Their readiness to work for over 5 hours to make bread and crackers for the community practically melts my heart. Thinking about it days later, I could not be more thankful for the willingness of a group of people who got dragged into this task for being in community with an eager baker. And thankful for the slice of humility served up to me, after realizing that people are not only so much more able than I anticipated, but willing to perform such a daunting task of making hundreds of loaves and crackers with complete devotion.

So, when you need a break, take a second to be thankful, and eat a piece of the biggest peanut butter cup you've ever seen. In between layers of dense chocolate cake, crispy peanut butter filling, rich chocolate ganache, and crunch sea salt, it's hard not to be thankful :) I hope you all have an amazing Easter!

Giant Peanut Butter Cup

4 tablespoons butter
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons finely ground espresso powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
peanut butter filling (recipe follows)
chocolate ganache (recipe follows)
flake sea salt, optional

Preheat oven to degrees 350 degrees F. Grease, with butter, a 9" tart pan with tall sides or a 9" springform pan. 

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt and stir together butter, chocolate, and espresso powder until melted. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in beaten eggs. Stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour and baking soda. Stir into the chocolate mixture until incorporated. 
Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Freeze for at least an hour. 

Peanut Butter Filling

4 cups gluten-free Rice Crispies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter

In a food processor, grind Rice Crispies until they look like dust (you can also do this by hand by beating them to death in a well-sealed plastic bag, if that's something you feel like you need). Stir in powdered sugar. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt and stir together peanut butter and butter until combined and completely melted. Stir in Rice Crispy Mixture. Press onto frozen cake. Return to the freezer while you make the ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Set aside the chocolate in a small bowl. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit 2 minutes. Stir together and pour over the top of the Rice Crispy layer. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the fridge and allow to set (at least an hour) before removing from the pan.

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About Me

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Salt Lake City, Utah
As a pastry chef by trade and by hobby, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease has not been easy. But through some experimental baking and a whole lot of faith, I'm living a full(er) life.