Peanutty-Chocolate Tunnel Cake

Posted on Feb 2 2011 - 8:00am by RetroRuth

Pillsbury's Bake Off 21001

You know, I spend a lot of time thinking about food.  I mean, mostly it’s bad food, but no matter how bad it is, it is still food.

A lot of other people think about food, too. In fact, many people are obsessed with it.  I mean, look at “food porn” . What in God’s name is that? Well, mostly it’s when people talk about great photos of multi-layered gooey chocolate cakes or wet-looking roasted chickens in mixed company. Sometimes it is when a Food Network star takes a bite of something and they go into convulsions and their eyes roll up into the back of their head. Which I think is supposed to be a good thing. Or something. Apparently food porn is supposed to be really, really good.

So, if that is food porn, what is the stuff that I make?  “Food Scorn”?  What is the opposite of food porn?  Your whole family (including grandparents) around the supper table sawing away at a dried up husk of a pork roast? How about food like “Fried Peas & Lettuce.” Or “Cheese-Frankfurter Loaf?”

Those all sound pretty unappetizing. Very Un-Porn. (Wait, maybe that is the word for the MCMenu!)

So, what happens when I make something on the MCMenu such as, oh I don’t know, Peanutty-Chocolate Tunnel Cake??  Something that might actually be good?

Peanutty-Chocolate Tunnel Cake001

Huh. Maybe the universe will explode.

Wait for it…..

Wait…

Nah. Guess we are okay.

Anyway, this week’s recipe is once again from the Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook from 1970. Because I LOVE those crazy Bake-Off books!

Peanutty-Chocolate Tunnel Cake001

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Who wants to shove their face into this bowl of sugar?

Me?

Yeah. That would be me.

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So, I realized AFTER I put this layer in that I probably shouldn’t have spread it around so much.  I think I kind of lost the tunnel effect and it just became a layer.

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The tunnel’s burst! Quick Lassie, get Pa!

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Mmmm…marbley.

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Eh. That’s still a pretty respectable tunnel.

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I don’t think this tasting was as fun for Tom.  It didn’t have the same element of “danger” as our normal meals.

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But it turns out the cake was good enough to lunge at it.

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“Mmmph.”

“What?”

“This is good cake.”

The Verdict: Yummy.  The vanilla part of the cake was very good, and tasted vaguely like a sugar cookie.  It had a great texture. The peanut butter layer was also good, it was fudgy and very moist.  The only complaint I had was that the vanilla part really didn’t go that well with the “tunnel”.  If I was going to make it again, I would make it all vanilla, and serve it with strawberries or mix the chocolate in with the whole cake and make it allllllllllll fudgy. But still a good cake.

And yes, it was good with ice cream. Just like Mrs. Lane promised.

Do you have a fun or horrible recipe for the Mid-Century Menu?  Send us your recipe and if we use it on the blog, you get a vintage cookbook!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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10 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. ae February 2, 2011 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Mmmmm…. Need some good comfort food today!

  2. Annie B. February 2, 2011 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Mrs. Lane looks like she’s wearing a meatloaf on her head – or a very large brownie.

    The cake looks great, Ruth; but then, I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like.

  3. Sara in AZ February 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    LOVE how Tom drops the fork and commences to lunging! 🙂 Poor, poor tunnel- hee! This cake looks SO good I think I need some right now girl, quick – send some with Lassie!

  4. Becky February 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    This looks like a good one! And can I say how much I love that your ingredients shot is half “Great Value” products…looks just like my kitchen.

    Per the previously mentioned blueberry boy bait recipe – I have discovered, to my horror, that the cookbook went out to the charity thrift shop, in my last bi-monthly burst of “oh my god I have too many books and no shelves for them this is ridiculous I have to get rid of some.” I even went to the shop to re-buy it, but someone else is enjoying it. I did discover that if you google “Blueberry Boy Bait”, you hit some recipes, a couple of which say they are the original. It won the Bake-off in the mid-50’s.

  5. Andrea February 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Hee, you would think that tom would look more excited at the prospect of eating something that might actually taste good, LOL.

    Now I am torn – I have to bake a cake this weekend for my mom’s b-day. I had it all planned out as to what cake I was going to make, but now I am debating on this one instead …

  6. RetroRuth February 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    I know, Ma! So…snowy….

    Annie, she looks like she has something crazy up there! Maybe it is a backup recipe…

    Sara! Lassie is on her way, but it may take her a while to get through the snow!

    Becky – Generic is the only way to go! Don’t worry about the Blueberry Boy Bait. I will keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, I will take any other horrible/hilarious recipes that you find as your half of the bargain. I still have PLENTY of cookbooks to send you. 🙂

    Andrea – What cake did you have planned? I am curious! If you do end up living on the wild side and making this, I would frost it with a milk chocolate ganache, crumble a Heath Bar on top and serve it with ice cream!

  7. Andrea February 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    The cake I had planned is what is referred to in my house as “Gramma Mitzi cake”. It is a German style sponge cake, with a really light whipped cream based frosting. My grandma used to make it all of the time, hence what we call it. So, quite different than this cake, but I do have a bundt pan that doesn’t see much action, so now I am debating …

    • RetroRuth February 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Andrea – I have an idea, just make them both! 🙂 Yum!

  8. sablemable February 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I’ll have to try this. I have a Bake-Off book that has a lemon tunnel cake, so maybe I’ll try it.

    Your tunnel looked good, Ruth. And don’t give me this dried-out pork roast routine because I KNOW you are a very good cook! Nah!

  9. veg-o-matic September 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I have this cake in the oven right now. What sold me was Tom lunging at it. Can’t beat a good lunge cake!

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