Although the holidays have come and gone, I find there are still plenty of winter days left where the classic combo of chocolate and mint are more than acceptable. Mint does not have to be all candy-canes and red-striped. In fact, I can get behind fresh mint in my desserts any time of year. So while this cake may not look like your typical mint holiday treat, it is equally tasty and timely during the cold, winter months ahead of us.
Chocolate and mint remind me of being all bundled up on a chilly day. The mint is like the type of crisp, cold wind that makes your nose and ears turn red and the chocolate is like a cozy, hand-knitted scarf. Or the refreshing kick that peppermint adds to a hot chocolate being sipped next to a warm fire. So snuggle up next to a loved one with a slice of this Chocolate Mint Cake and melt all your worries away…
This cake pairs my Classic Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mint filling. The cake has been iced in mint buttercream, but a plain vanilla would also pair perfectly – if that is just too minty for your liking. To finish, I’ve created a White Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Bark to decorate the cake with. How fun is that!?!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup hot water
- 9 ounces white chocolate, chopped (by weight)
- 3 ounces heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter, diced
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the oil and sugar. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until combined.
- With the mixer on low, alternate adding in the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, stream in the hot water. Mix on medium no more than 30 seconds or until combined.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake until done or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean - about 24-26 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
- For the filling, place the white chocolate in a heat-safe bowl.
- Slowly heat the cream to a simmer.
- Pour cream over the chocolate and let sit 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth.
- Add in the butter and stir until melted.
- Add in the peppermint extract to taste.
- Set aside or chill in the refrigerator until a spreadable consistency to use as the filling.
For the White Chocolate Peppermint Swirl Bark:
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat and set aside. Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate over a double-boiler.
Once melted stir in 1/4 – 1/2 peppermint extract, or to taste. Pour onto the lined baking sheet, reserving a couple tablespoons to tint green. Smooth out into a 1/4-inch layer with an off-set spatula. Tint the remaining chocolate green and spoon dollops of tinted-white chocolate on top and swirl with a wooden skewer. Sprinkle with mini white chocolate chips and sugar peals. Once chocolate has set, break into pieces.