Boy did I get an earfull from the guys the day I brought this chocolate masterpiece into the office—I suppose I should have seen it coming, being the mother of three boys and all. They went on about how in the past seven years that we’ve been working together, I had never taken the time to make something like this for them.
You would think the “guys” who usually get first dibs on everything else I bring into the office. ie. french macarons, cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread—practically 80-90% of what you will find on this blog has made it’s way into the office—would be OK with me making a special cake for a couple of non-IT birthday girls.
The girls were even sweet enough to share the cake with everyone—thanks for sharing Michelle & Melissa!
a lighter another note… let’s talk about this delicious Chocolate Peppermint Cake. Not only was it loaded with chocolate as you can very well imagine and expect, the chocolate flavor of the cake was equally balanced with Peppermint thanks to the variety of mint elements that took part in the making of said masterpiece.
There is however, a particular form of mint I used in this cake that I’d like to talk more about…
And that is, the handful of Chocolate Mint Leaves picked from my garden which were washed and steeped in heavy cream, then used to make the Chocolate Peppermint Frosting.
Up until only a few month’s ago I had never heard of a Peppermint Plant of the “Chocolate variety”. That was until I visited my local nursury during their annual plant sale, I literally had to do a double-take. I read and re-read the sign “Chocolate Mint” which stood out—like the lit up Hollywood sign over Hollywood Hills—among the number of pots that contained this hardy, yet fine and deliciously smelling herb.
I think I’ll try and make some Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream with it next…
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 5 ounces Andes Baking Chips
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 cups superfine sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray three 9×2-inch round cake pans with baking spray and line each with a parchment round.
- Combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until melted.
- Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Pour hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, then whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans.
- Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.
- 4 ounces Andes Baking Chips
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 drop peppermint oil
- Melt Andes baking chips in microwave in 30 second intervals.
- Spread a thin layer over a cookie sheet and transfer to refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove cookie sheet from refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 7 to 10 minutes. Time might need to be adjusted depending on how hot/cold the temperature in your kitchen is.
- With a spatula placed at approximately 100 to 110 degree angle against the cookie sheet. Run spatula against the cookie sheet along the length of the cookie sheet trying to create curls of approximately 1 to 1½ inch width.
- Repeat the same process with the bittersweet chocolate, however once chocolate has been melted, stir in the peppermint oil before spreading the chocolate over the cookie sheet.
- Keep chocolate curls in the refrigerator until ready to decorate the cake.
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup fresh chocolate mint leaves (optional)
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher saltt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint schnapps
- 1 drop peppermint oil
- In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat combine heavy cream, butter, and chocolate mint leaves. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. Turn off heat, cover saucepan and let the leaves steep for 10-20 minutes.