Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
|Moist and minty.|
Specifically, bake me a chocolate cake filled with peppermint-flavored buttercream and topped with a rich ganache. Mmmkay?
Although I'm a well-documented fan of the chocolate-mint combination, peppermint patties don't blow me away. Mamster, on the other hand, has said that she'll take a simple peppermint pattie (NOT spelled patty, for the record) over a lush, complicated dessert any day.
She has not tasted my latest creation; I plan to change her tune.
While it's certainly decadent, this cake is by no means complex. It's simply a torted (meaning each of the two layers is cut in half horizontally) chocolate cake filled with buttercream frosting that's been flavored with exhilarating peppermint extract and crushed candy canes and topped with a smooth, creamy ganache.
Chocolate and peppermint in the form of wee little patties? Pshaw. I'll take mine as a honkin' hunk of cake.
Pretty-in-Pink Peppermint Pattie Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-2 tablespoons milk
2-3 drops red food coloring
1/2 cup candy cane pieces, crushed
1 pound (16 oz.) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
To make the cake portion, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat very well. Stir in the boiling water and pour the batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For the peppermint filling, in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add peppermint and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for spreading consistency. Beat in the food coloring until a nice pale pink color is obtained. Fold in the candy cane pieces.
To make the ganache, place your chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let this stand, without stirring, until the chocolate begins to melt. Beginning near the center and working outward, stir the melted chocolate into the cream until the mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir). Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately, as the ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring.
To assemble the cake, cut each cake layer in half. Spread one third of the filling atop one of the halves and repeat twice more. Place the final layer of cake on top and cover the cake with the ganache. Add embellishments as desired. Let set at least an hour before slicing.