Welcome Have you ever had someone mistake you for someone else? Or worse, have you had someone label you completely wrong, simply from their misconceptions? I have experienced both, and neither are pleasant, but the latter, well, it can simply tear us apart and crush our soul. If we let it.
Food For Thought Two years ago, someone labeled me with the most hurtful words I thought I could ever hear. Everything I knew about my own identity came under question in one afternoon. I’m going to be honest…I fell apart. I went through a lot of questions, a lot of what-ifs, a lot of regrets. And more tears than I could count. In fact, I thought I would never have a day in my life when I wouldn’t cry. I thought I was hurt beyond repair. My mom encouraged me to pray. I told her it was just too hard. But I did it anyway. And you know what? God listened.
The mistaken identity, or in my case, a misused label (or call it what it is…name calling), turned out to be a blessing. The people who had intended to harm me with their harsh words, criticisms, and rumors were actually helping carry out a plan from God that He intended for good. In fact, God saved me.
My life was in danger. My physical health was getting worse by the day. My mental health was at an all-time low, which made me an even worse mother, wife, and teacher. And my spiritual health? Well, that was in the biggest danger of all. I had become a person I detested, yet I knew somewhere inside was a better person, the person I used to be, the person who longed to serve God and lead others in His ways. Deep inside was the better Christian I started out to be when I was so young, before I allowed the world to jade my view of how things can and should be.
Lessons…so many things God needed to teach me. Discipline…so many consequences I needed to face for my mistakes, the choices I had made by my own free will. Identity…finding out who I truly am, only because someone so boldly pointed out who I knew I was NOT.
It has taken two years. Time, tears, therapy, prayers (mine and from friends and family), study, reclaiming my identity in Christ…so much has gone into my healing process. But without the gift of mistaken identity, I would not have discovered who I truly am. I am a child of God, first. I am a wife, second. I am a mom, third. I am myself…no longer ashamed of my faith, my beliefs, my love of nature and simpler living. I am blemished and flawed and imperfect. I make mistakes. I know I’m not superwoman and can’t do it all. I can ask for help and I can offer help. I am balanced for the first time in my adult life. I know my priorities.
So, as painful as my lessons may have been, I am grateful to God for the occasional gift of mistaken identify, because without it, I may never have discovered who I really am.
Today’s Recipe Our Food For Thought topic today has me thinking about a recent case of mistaken identity with one of my baking recipes. For one of our family’s holiday gatherings last month, I threw together this rich and delicious chocolate and peanut butter layer cake. It looked as good as it tasted. So I photographed it to share with the Instagram masses and Facebook friends. I got so many comments…but not exactly what I expected. Everyone kept saying, “Do I see bacon on there?” Apparently my lighting was a bit off, as it tends to be when I’m using artificial lighting. My chopped peanut butter cups on top were somehow interpreted as chopped bacon!
People were far more intrigued when they thought I had a unique item on my cake, like bacon. Some day I will attempt to create that cake. But not today. I am, however, going to share this Semi-Naked Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake with you today because it was a hit at our family gathering. I have made a similar cake before, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake, but I have to say I like this new recipe better and it’s easier! The funny thing is, it came together simply by pulling things out of the cabinet that might possibly make a holiday dessert-table-worthy cake. It was a success and I hope you enjoy it, too.
Semi-Naked Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake
- 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup water
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate frosting
- 1 cup chopped miniature peanut butter cups
- 1/4 cup of peanut butter chips
- Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans. Turn oven to 350 degrees.
- In large mixing bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add sour cream, water, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, mix to incorporate any ingredients from bottom or sides.
- Stir in peanut butter chips.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 28-34 minutes. Cakes are done when they begin to pull from edges of pan and middle is slightly springy.
- Place pans on wire cooling racks for 10-15 minutes. Gently turn cakes out to finish cooling on the racks.
- While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
- In mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together.
- Continue to beat on low speed while slowly adding 2 cups of powdered sugar. Add milk.
- Continue to add powdered sugar until creamy frosting texture is achieved.
- When cakes are completely cool, place one cake layer on cake plate or tray. Frost a thin layer of the peanut butter frosting over this layer, pushing the thickest part of the frosting to the outer edges.
- Place the second layer on the cake, followed by another thin layer of frosting. Repeat process with final layer and top of cake.
- Using a frosting spatula, use any remaining frosting to fill in gaps between the layers and spread around the outer edges of the cake, without frosting the sides completely.
- To make chocolate drip, place one cup of prepared chocolate frosting in microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds.
- Note-I have only done this part using store-bought frosting. I don’t know if it works the same with homemade frosting, but this is a shortcut method instead of making homemade chocolate ganache.
- Carefully pour the melted chocolate frosting, working from the center outward and letting the chocolate casually drip over the sides of the cake. Use a spoon, if necessary to spread the chocolate smoothly over the top. This frosting will become firm after a few minutes. You may not use the entire amount.
- Chop the miniature peanut butter cups with a large kitchen knife and garnish the top of the cake with the candies. Add the remaining peanut butter chips.