Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ode to Marlene: Buckeye Pie

Every Christmas I look forward my Grandma's Buckeye candy treats! Unfortunately, I missed out this past year because I am living in Italy. I had a craving for the candy and I also had dinner guests last night who are big fans of chocolate and peanut butter, so I revised the candy recipe and made a pie! This pie has every resemblance of the candy taste... and probably a lot less time consuming!

For you non-Cincinnati people, you may be asking "what is a Buckeye?". They are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate who get their name from their resemblance to the nut of the buckeye tree. I know there are a million recipes out there for them, but of course I think my Grandma makes the best!
By the way, this is VERY rich... cut the slices small! *I made this a day ahead of time so it could sit in the refridge overnight (the Ganache seemed to get more firm the longer it was in).


1st Layer:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 oz melted and cooled unsweetened chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

2nd Layer:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar

3rd Layer (Ganache):
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup peanut butter & milk chocolate (just a few mixed in with the p.b.) chips


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch-round spring form pan (if you don't have this, just use a cake pan). Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; grease.

-For the 1st layer: Combine eggs and sugar in large bowl. Stir in flour, melted butter, chocolate, vanilla extract and salt until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
-Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of cake; cool for an additional 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate (I used a small cutting board). (You need a flat surface, especially when you add the 3rd layer... it can get messy!) Remove pan and parchment; cool completely.

-For the 2nd Layer: Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in medium mixer bowl until combined. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Spread mixture on cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

-For the 3rd layer (Ganache): Heat cream in small saucepan to boiling; remove from heat. Add semi-sweet chips; let stand 5 minutes. Stir; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until mixture is spreadable. Spread chocolate on top and sides of cake. Put back in refridge for 30 minutes.

-Melt peanut butter & milk chocolate chips in resealable plastic bag for 30 seconds. Knead bag to mix. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals until melted. Cut a small hole from corner of bag; squeeze to drizzle over cake. Store in refrigerator.
-Use a sharp knife to go around the pie (trimming the ganache) if you need to. Place on your serving platter.
-Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

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