Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

  A friend from way back, who has been creating some delicious looking baked goods agreed to be my guest blogger this week.  I appreciate Jason for posting on my humble blog!  Enjoy friends. ;-)

Ever since I was a kid, I loved chocolate mint ice cream.  I was lucky enough to find a job as a teenager at a local ice cream parlor by the name of Leatherby's here in Sacramento.  If they would have paid me in ice cream, that would have been fair in my book.  Fast forward a few, (ok, many) years and I'm still a huge fan of their ice cream.  I happened to stumble across a recipe at Raspberri Cupcakes for chocolate mint cake the other day, and my curiosity was at full alert.  Let me just say, this cake is AMAZING, especially if you're as big a fan of chocolate mint ice cream as I am.  One of my kids remarked at how similar the taste of the frosting is to real ice cream--yes, it's that close.  Give this one a try, it will be worth it!

You have two options here, as you can make a homemade cake or one from a box.  I've done the cake both ways, and I will say it's a matter of personal preference.  David Lebovitz's Devil's Food Cake is extremely rich and compliments the robust flavors of the frosting quite well.  If you're short on time, go with a box mix and enjoy the cake that much quicker!

Here's the recipe for David's Devil's Food Cake:

9 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-raising, I just used plain flour and replaced 3 tbsp with cornflour/cornstarch)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup strong coffee (or water, I used a weak coffee as I didn't want it overpower the mint)
1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk

Butter and line the base of a two 9-inch cake tins (I only had a 22cm springform tin which I used for both cakes) and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). 
Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, bicarb soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Using an electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.

Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients until smooth. Split batter mixture between the two prepared tins (or in my case, I used half for the first cake, baked it and then reused the tin for the other half of the batter). Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in tin about 5 mins, then place on a wire rack and cool completely before icing.

For the Frosting
2.5 sticks unsalted (or slightly salted) butter
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tsp peppermint essence or use mint extract (add 1/4 tsp at a time until you're happy with flavor)
150g dark chocolate, very finely chopped or pulsed through a food processor
Green food coloring
Optional: waffle ice cream cones to decorate

Remove the butter from fridge about half an hour before starting. Cut up butter into smaller pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high until fluffy and smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined. Add peppermint essence or mint extract to taste and green food coloring. Gradually add chocolate chip pieces until you have a good distribution of chocolate bits.

Use about 1/4 of the icing on top of one of the cakes and smooth over with a spatula. Place second cake top side down on top of the iced cake. Cover entire cake with more icing, smoothing with a spatula. I used an offset spatula, running it under hot water every now and then to help keep the surface smoother. Use the leftover icing to form scoops of icing to place on top of the cake, arranged however you like. Use mini ice cream cones or chop the ends of normal-sized cones and place on top of icing scoops. Alternatively you could cover the top with extra dark chocolate chips or shaved chocolate. Can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container overnight. Serve at room temperature.


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