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peanut butter, chocolate & merlot

Hi. My name is mikael and I am a gbbs addict. when i don't have enough time to use baking to relax my brain from a day of being mentally beaten at my day job and taking care of my home life, i get the same relaxation from watching paul hollywood politely scorch the home bakers from the great british baking show. #loveit. i may be new to this game, but i'm not the only one who fell into this hole during #quarenlife. you know who you are. the one thing they bake that they come up with the funniest names for are swiss rolls, like "jelly bellys" or "happy frompy" or whatever, and the flavors, holy flavors. Savories and sweets alike sound amazing. I tried my hand at a white cake with ridiculous decoractions for my daughter's birthday this year, so i thought, a rolled cake looked easy (or "easy peasy by sweesy", one of maddy's latest sayings). i was wrong.


I decided to make this peanut butter and chocolate swiss roll because i love all things peanut butter and chocolate. It's my other addiction. I made the cake. There is no real rising agent, except the egss, but the eggs didn't seem to be beaten enough when i made it. i used the right sized size jelly roll pan, but the filling did not reach the edges. when the cake came out, there were burnt edges and the cake cracked as i rolled it. it was useless when it was time to fill it. I tried again; this time i brought the eggs to room temperature first, as sometimes eggs will froth better when they're at room temperatures. That's one thing those europeans have on us. they don't do the weird cleaning thing to eggs that we do, so their eggs are always at room temp. again, the cake didn't reach the edges; again it cracked when it rolled; again it was useless when it came time for filling. i was out of thin towels at this point. and i was done for the day.


i found another recipe for swiss roll cake. this one called for separating the eggs first, a bit more flour, and whisking the whites almost like a meringue. this might work to help the cake rise more. it just needed more fluff to prevent the cracking. this cake recipe called for a slightly larger jelly roll pan, and it still didn't quite fill the whole pan, even when i spent a good 20 minutes rolling it, spreading it and trying to get it into all the corners. no luck. If it didn't work this time, i was going to...well, i was going to go buy a new pan and try again because it looked amazing. when this cake came out, it looked mostly ok, i just cut off a few suspect edges and rolled it up. and waited.


and waited.


and waited.


and then it was ready! i whipped up the peanut butter filling and readied myself to unroll the cake. it looked pretty good - i didn't use a towel this time, the instructions on this cake said to just use parchment paper, and as i was unrolling, part of the cake got stuck on the paper below it and started to crack. i paused. grabbed a spatula and tried to peel it off. The cake still ended up cracking in a few places, but at this point, i didn't care, I could make it work and i still had to put a chocolate ganache over the top that would hide most sins. the pb filling would hold it together on the inside. i got that put together, melted some chocolate and butter for the ganache, poured that over the top and crumbled some pb cups on top. i sprinkled some pb chips on it for good measure, because there may be just a wee bit too much chocolate in this cake and it needs a bit of pb balance.


Then i waited till the next day for the stupid ganache to harden before my taste testing could commence.


I knew it had to be a dry white or a soft red. But i was willing to try some of our bolder reds with this too. It's a tough life. I tried everything from our semillion (which did pair nicely with this, i have to say) to our 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, and i can say for certain, it does not pair well with rose. Do not have rosé with pb and chocolate. lol. What rose to the top was our [award winning] 2013 Merlot.



I was surprised. I didn't peg it as something i'd often have with PB and chocolate, but it's gentle simplicity was enough to pair well with the complexity of the roll. It took me two days to make the roll and three days to pair the roll (ok, two. i drink some wine). But it was a miracle it lasted that long. I was beating off my visiting parents ("that's for work!"), and because it was my first time trying to make it and it was so damn hard, there were no gluten free or monk fruit substitutions in this bad boy. it was dense. but it was worth every bite and every sip.

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