Snickers Cake

This is NOT a post about Valentine's Day. But it certainly does have a lot to do with the man who means the most to me.

You see, my Dad was a premature the sense he was born barely a day before Valentine's Day. Now ever since I can remember he has always strongly been against birthdays (maybe this has something to do with the unbearable sadness of missing the mark...who knows!). He doesn't like people wishing him, visiting him, or even giving him gifts especially on this day of the year. I have unceasingly asked him the reason behind this weird behaviour, and everytime he replies: "Chhotobela theke jaa peyechhi shob kichhui babar theke peyechhi...jobe theke baba chole gechhen ar karor theke jinish nite ichhe kore na. (Whatever I've received from my childhood have been from my father. But since the day he left us, I don't feel like accepting gifts from others.)."

In almost three decades of my life, whenever I've given my dad anything he has accepted it rather grudgingly. So I've gradually given up the idea of giving him elaborate gifts. But all of that changed with the turn of this year. On my Mum's birthday when I made this Devil's Food Cake, he couldn't stop gushing over it and ended up requesting a similar-styled fancy cake for his birthday (which he planned to have all by himself) which comes just a month later. In fact, this was probably the first time he acknowledged that he HAS a birthday.

My dad is borderline diabetic and so we (my Mother and I) try to refrain him from extreme intake of sugars and carbs, mostly unsuccessfully. So to ensure that our glaring stares did not hinder him from having his cake (and eating it too!), he started going out for early morning jogs. Now when I say jogs I don't mean jogs. My dad actually runs. He is very fit that way, but has the habit of sometimes forgetting his age. Watching him stick to this routine for more than 1 month my heart went out to him, and since he normally doesn't ask for anything, I decided that this birthday he needs a special treat. He loves chocolates and nuts. And thus was conceived my Snickers Cake.

Pressure points: I had never in my life made such a monstrous cake (7 layers and 4 components!) and knew that the entire exercise was going to be a shot in the dark. So in the process I made many mistakes, goofed up a lot of things, sometimes deliberately and sometimes accidentally. But I want you to start off as a pro and learn from my blotches. Here I present some areas that might bother you (as it bothered me) and how you take take precautions against it.

1) The cake dough is meant to be EXTREMELY runny. It won't have that soft, moist and damp texture unless it's not. The idea to not to make it thicker but to ensure that your tin holds the batter properly. My batter started leaking from my springform tin and by the time I took it to the oven it had made chocolaty patterns on the kitchen shelves and floor. By the time I emptied my tin, cut my baking sheet in a larger round shape and pressed it against the sides of the tine (so that it holds the batter from leaking), my preheated oven had already gone cold. I realised that when my cake was already 7-8 minutes in the oven. So I cooked it for a longer time. The shape came weird because of the crumpled baking sheet on the sides, but thankfully taste was not compromised with!

2) When you are assembling the cake, make sure you leave for the last the melting of chocolate. I thought I would get ahead with my task and so melted my dark chocolate for the ganache when my second cake was in the oven. By the time it came out, was cooled and the entire cake was put together the ganache had stiffened and was extremely difficult to pour over the hard peanut caramel layer. So I started heating it again but instead of melting into luscious smooth ribbons it became a fudge like consistency. So I had to do away with that set and had to melt chocolate again. Double work, double use of ingredients.

3. After you assemble the entire cake and pour over the chocolate ganache you'll find your cake dish stained with drops of chocolate and will instantly feel like transferring it to a fresh, clean dish. But DO NOT do that at this stage. I tried the to skilfully lift it using two wooden spoons but wet and soft that it was it starting breaking at the edges and tumbling down. I immediately placed it back in the gooey dish. But the initial damage was done. So wait till the cake is refrigerated, cooled and set. Only then transfer it. Patience is the key here.

Serves: 8-10 (Maybe more, because nobody would be able to eat more than one slice. The cake is that rich and that filling.)


For the sponge:

Flour: 220 gm
Caster Sugar: 275 gm
Cocoa powder: 50 gm
Butter: 50 gm
Olive Oil: 50 ml
Baking powder: 3 tsp
Eggs: 2
Milk: 100 ml
Vanilla essence: 2tsp
Boiling water: 100 ml

For the Caramel:

Brown sugar: 150 gm
Double cream: 300 gm
Salt: a pinch

For the Peanut layer:

Brown Sugar: 100 gm
Peanuts: 200 m
Water: 4 tbsp

For the chocolate ganache:

Dark chocolate chunks: 200 gm
Chocolate chips: 100 gm


1. For the sponge: Preheat oven at 180 degree C and line a round springform cake tin with baking parchment and butter the sides.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.

3. Cream the butter, sugar and the eggs (one at a time) using a hand blender. Add milk, oil and vanilla and continue to mix.

4. Now fold the dry ingredients gradually into the liquid mixture. Now start adding the boiling water gradually as you keep folding it in. The batter will be extremely runny at this point.

5. Pour half the batter into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes till the top is springy to touch and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow it to cool on the wire rack.

6. Repeat the same procedure with the remaining batter. Your sponges are now done.

7. For the caramel: Heat the sugar on medium heat so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Once it starts to bubble pour the cream and instantly stand at a distance. Do not try to stir the mixture now. Let it bubble for sometime and slowly swirl your saucepan to make the mixture smooth. Add a pinch of salt, take of from the heat and refrigerate.

8. Now for the peanut layer: Heat sugar on medium, just like that of the caramel. Add water and let it bubble for a minute or so. Now add the peanuts and stir everything together till all the peanuts are coated with the brown caramel mix. Take off from the heat, spread on a baking sheet and let it cool. As it does so, it'll form clumps and stick together like peanut chickis.

9. For the chocolate ganache: Break the chocolate pieces and place them on a double boiler on low heat (a  saucepan half filled with water and another utensil on top of it where the chocolate will be melted. Ensure that the bottom of your second utensil doesn't touch the water.) Stir gradually till all the chocolate pieces and chips are melted into a silky smooth consistency.

10. For assembling: Place the fist sponge top side down and layer it with the caramel and the peanut chunks (break the clumped peanuts with a rolling pin after they are cooled). Arrange the second sponge on the peanut layer, follow with another caramel coating and peanut coating. Now pour all the melted chocolate over the cake and the sides. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Once set, it'll look like a round snickers bar. Cut a slice and let the cake do the talking! :)


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