Tuesday, February 28, 2012

chocolate birthday cake (with mint)

On December 28th, I made a ridiculously decadent mint-chocolate cake for my darling Michael's 21st birthday. Three layers of moist chocolate cake, glued together by a chocolate mint ganache, and surrounded by a creamy and perfect chocolate frosting before being decorated with melted mint chips...Heaven.


It's time that I shared my combination of recipes & chocolates.


For the triple-layered chocolate cake, I used this recipe.
The ingredients required are:
2 cups boiling water

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I used large eggs, Callebaut baking cocoa powder (I ordered it on Amazon), and a halved portion of double-strength vanilla from Penzeys Spices. The batter was evenly portioned between three 9-inch pans, but I believe that it would have been fine in just two. Eventually, I'll figure out the time and temperature for that.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 3 - 9 inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.


The chocolate mint ganache was adapted from this blog.
The ingredients include:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

However, I doubled the recipe and it turned out pretty well. It may not have actually been necessary in the cake (the cake was heavy enough as it was), but it was a nice addition.
I used 8 oz. of a Scharffen Berger baking bar (bittersweet dark chocolate; 70% cacao) that I purchased on Amazon. Next time, I might use the mint buttercream frosting from the same blog in between the layers instead of the chocolate mint ganache.
1. chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. heat cream and 1/4 cup mint until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream through strainer, over the chocolate.
3. let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. add butter and the remaining teaspoon of chopped mint and stir until combined.
5. let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken, 30 minutes to 1 hour.



Finally, the creamy and delicious chocolate frosting from here.
Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I again used Callebaut baking cocoa powder and a halved portion of double-strength vanilla from Penzeys Spices. I may have doubled the recipe, or at least made 1.5 for the cake. The cake was frosted by piping with a larger star tip (Wilton 1M?), starting at the bottom edge of the cake and working my way around the cake then slowly working my way up, layer by layer.
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.


The decorative writing was done using melted Guittard green mint chips (also on Amazon), a pastry bag, and a Wilton filling tip.

Happy Baking!
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