Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cake

For the annual Christmas ornament exchange with our close group of friends I decided to make a dark chocolate peppermint cake.  It turned out quite yummy!  But before the recipe, a picture of the gang at the exchange!

And the babies in their matching elf outfits!  It is quite hilarious to watch the craziness that goes on while trying to get them all to sit up right, pay attention, smile, etc., etc.

Ok, onto the recipe:

Chocolate Cake Layers
From Chocolate & Carrots
  • 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips such as Ghirardelli
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Grease and lightly flour 3 9″ cake pans.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate chips. Let it stand for a couple of minutes, and stir until chocolate is melted.
  4. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In the bowl of your electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).
  6. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating until combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans
  9. Bake on the middle racks of the oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about an 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  10. Cool layers completely in pans on racks.
  11. Once completely cooled, invert the cake layers onto individual long sheets of plastic wrap. Be sure to wrap each layer tightly.
  12. Freeze the layers for about 3-4 hours (up to 24 hours).

Peppermint Frosting

  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6-8 tsp milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer
  2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time
  3. Incorporate milk as needed until you reach the desired consistency
  4. Add peppermint candy
  5. Frost cake and place in fridge to set

Chocolate Trees

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
  1. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
  2. Remove from the double boiler and let the chocolate get lukewarm (it should be soft enough to drip/lightly squeeze out of a piping bag but not so hard that you have to use a lot of pressure to get it out of the bag)
  3. Lay out a couple layers of foil on a flat surface (or even better, on flat cookie sheets).
  4. Draw out your trees with the melted chocolate.
  5. Put the chocolate trees in the fridge until they are hard.
  6. Using gloves (so you don’t melt the trees with your hands or get finger prints on them), squirt some chocolate on the backs of your trees and place them on the cake.

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