So, once I’d made my cake layers, my fudge frosting, and a peanut butter cream cheese frosting (no real recipe here, I just beat together 4 oz. each of butter and cream cheese, added about 3/4 cup of peanut butter and a splash of vanilla, and then added powdered sugar until the texture was right), it was finally time to assemble the cake.
First, I removed my frozen cake layers and set them on the counter to thaw. After about 45 minutes they were cold enough to be firm but thawed enough to be workable, so I used a long, serrated knife to level off the tops. I stacked them with peanut butter frosting and ran a thin crumb-coat over the whole thing before setting it in the refrigerator to chill for another 20 minutes or so. At this point I will note that I made a mistake in using crunchy peanut butter (what I had on hand) for the frosting, because peanut chunks do not make for a smooth crumb coat. Oh well…
In the meantime, I assembled my decorations– miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups (the kind that come unwrapped) and Reese’s pieces, plus some honey-roasted peanuts. I cut most of the peanut butter cups in half so the insides would show for contrast.
Using an offset spatula, I slathered a thin layer of fudge frosting along the center section of the sides of the cake so I would have something to stick my candy to. I arranged the candy and nuts in a tight band around the cake, making it wider than I wanted my fault line crack to be to allow for overlap of the frosting. I tried to make the surface of the candy as even as possible to make the frosting-smooth process easier later on.
Then I piped a thick layer of frosting around the top and bottom of the cake, and piled some more frosting on top. The piping made it easier to ensure that the frosting was evenly distributed.
Using my bench scraper and the cake turntable, I smoothed out the frosting on the sides and leveled off the top. It took a lot of smoothing to make it look right, probably the result of the frosting being just a bit too loose for decorating. If I were doing this again I’d chill the frosting a tiny bit more to give it more body before putting it on the cake.
After chilling the frosted cake overnight, I combined gold highlighter dust (not luster dust, it doesn’t look as much like real metal) with a few drops of vodka and painted it onto the edges of the frosting. I added some halved full-sized peanut butter cups to the top of the cake, and painted the ridged edges with more gold, just to add a little extra flash to the top of the cake.
I really adore the way this cake turned out– it’s exactly how I wanted it to look, and it tasted amazing!
Now I’m dying to make other fault line cakes– what should I put inside them?