A rich, fudgy chocolate layer cake with a no-bake peanut butter cheesecake filling in the middle covered with a creamy, smooth milk chocolate ganache and finished with chopped Dove milk chocolate peanut butter candies and finely chopped peanuts.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda*
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot water*
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 8.5-ounce bags Dove Peanut Butter Promises, divided
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two 9×2 inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray with flour.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and whisk just until combine.
Divide batter between pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert them onto the rack. Leave cakes upside down (this flattens domed cakes) to cool completely.
PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE FILLING
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. In another large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until blended and smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream a little at a time. Fold in 1 cup Dove chocolates, finely chopped.
Place half of the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add remain chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool until ganache is thickened but still thin enough to drip down the sides of the cake.
When the cake layers are cool and ganache has thickened, evenly spread filling on bottom layer, carefully stack the second layer on top of filling. Spoon chocolate ganache on top of the cake, spreading to edges and letting the ganache drip down the sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pile remaining coarsely chopped Dove chocolates on top.
*I made the following high altitude adjustments: Decreased the sugar by 2 tablespoons, used 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda and 2 1/4 cup hot water.