What do you think, bakers? Thumbs up for chocolate-mint cake this week?
Next up on the schedule: a grasshopper cocktail in cake form, with chocolate cake, crème de menthe buttercream, and chocolate ganache! Posting date in April 22.
- ¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¼ cups hot water
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2¼ cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4½ sticks unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons crème de menthe
- 2¼ teaspoons peppermint extract
- 16 chocolate wafer cookies, homemade or store bought (such as Nabisco or Newman’s Own), optional
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon crème de menthe
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachments, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy and ribbonlike, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add the crème de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, then mix again.
- If you’re using the cookies, use a pastry bag or a large spoon to spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the buttercream onto the bottom of one cookie. Press the bottom of a second cookie down on top of the buttercream. Repeat to make 8 sandwich cookies. Put the cookies on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator while you make the ganache.
- Leave the remaining buttercream at room temperature while you make the ganache.
- Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the cream sit for 2 minutes, then, starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and cream mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the crème de menthe and peppermint extract and stir until combined. Whisk for another few minutes to cool the ganache slightly, then let the ganache come to room temperature, about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface. Use an offset spatula to spread about ¼ cup of the ganache on top of the layer. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 1 minute to let the ganache set. Spread about 1 ¼ cups of the buttercream on top of the ganache. Top with the next cake layer, trim and frost with ganache and buttercream, then add the third layer and trim. Crumb coat the cake (see page 22) and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining buttercream. Garnish the cake with the cookies, if desired, and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to firm up the finished cake.
Our bakers loved this decadent chocolate ice cream and included some creative mix-ins… and we have a rogue ultralemony Bundt cake!
Who’s screaming for ice cream today? Leave your links here!
Our next posting date is April 8 – get out your ice cream makers, because we’re making dark chocolate ice cream. With or without mix-ins? Straight up cocoa powder, or will you slip over to the dark side?
- 8 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), finely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- Put the chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until just combined.
- Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour one third of the mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Add another third of the mixture and whisk again. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, bring to 170 degrees F. on a chocolate thermometer. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then slowly whisk until combined.
- Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours (or overnight), then whisk until the mixture is thick and frothy. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze, following the manufacturer’s instructions, until the mixture looks like a very rm pudding. Put in an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 hours, or until hard.
Anything goes for our next bake, a veritable kitchen-sink extravaganza! Posting date is March 25.
- 2 cups (about 6 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
- 2½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 20 crackers)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1⅓ cups walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup butterscotch chips
- 3 ¼ cups (26 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.
- Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
- Refrigerate the crust for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Evenly spread the nuts in the bottom of the crust.
- Spread the chocolate chips over the walnuts, followed by the white chocolate, followed by the butterscotch chips.
- In a steady stream, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the filling. Shake the pan very gently to make sure the sweetened condensed milk is evenly distributed.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
This week we have hot chocolate and a rogue blood orange olive oil bundt cake!
Who’s warming up with some hot chocolate today? Leave your links here!
Next up, more chocolate – but in drinkable form. This one isn’t for the kiddos since it’s got a splash of amaretto in it – but you could always leave it out. Posting date is February 11!
Also note that we’re making vanilla marshmallows after this, so if you like marshmallows in your hot chocolate, you might want to tackle both at once.
- 2 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
- (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- Simple Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream (page 103), optional
- Crushed amaretti cookies, optional
- Put the chocolates in a small heatproof bowl.
- Pour the boiling water over the chocolate, and make sure most of the chocolate is submerged. Let the chocolate sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk, cream, and maple syrup just to a simmer. Pour the chocolate mixture into the milk mixture and whisk until combined. Turn the heat up to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is just about to boil. Add the amaretto, stir one more time, and ladle into two mugs. Top with whipped cream and crushed amaretti cookies, if desired, and serve immediately.
There’s a lot of chocolate in this roundup – and the cookies get a big thumbs-up! Plus, check out the banana espresso chocolate chip muffins our rogue Little Baker Bunny whipped up!