Mint Chocolate Cake
I’m back! Sort of. I still don’t have a job out here in sunny L.A. so when I’m not stalking indeed.com like a royal stalking stag I’m looking for deals on baking supplies. And spending hours on Pinterest.
During one of those marathon Pinterest sessions I ran across mint chocolate cake. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge just how darn good mint chocolate chip ice cream is. You know what I’m talking about, the food color green ice cream with chips of semi-sweet chocolate that may or may not contain actual chocolate in them. But as much of a food snob as I am, do not, I repeat, DO NOT give me some fancy-schmancy, all natural, no coloring added, real mint leaves muddled mint chocolate chip ice cream. Do I prefer Haagen Dazs five-ingredient-only vanilla? Yes. Do I prefer the expensive chocolate gelato over the store brand? Yes. But please, for the love of humanity, give me the green mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Ranting aside, this is the cake version of mint chocolate chip ice cream. And it gives me a chance to patronize the L.A. PBS station KCET website. It says you can use a box white cake mix, which you can if you want, but I trolled the internet and found a buttermilk white cake recipe and then added the mint flavoring.
I also subbed mint chips for chocolate chips. Reason? I hauled three bags of Nestle Mint Chips and Andes Candy Chips across the entire damn country and I need to use them before I find myself packing for wherever I move next.
(I don’t post for a while and I come back super wordy don’t I?)
Alright, less talk, more action.
White Buttermilk Cake via Vintage Basics blog:
Makes 2 8-inch cake rounds or 24 regular size cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I always use salted so don’t stress if you don’t have unsalted)
2 cups granulated sugar (I used a wee bit less and I think I like that better)
3 cups cake flour (I used regular all purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 egg whites
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. If you’re using cake pans, lightly flour and line bottoms with parchment. For cupcakes, put liners in muffin tins.
First, whip your egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently slide them into a bowl and set aside.
Clean your bowl and then cream your butter and sugar until they are creamy and mixed well. (I know, duh, I told you to CREAM them) While they are creaming, mix your dry ingredients in one bowl and your buttermilk, vanilla AND 1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract in another bowl. Add 1/3 dry and then 1/3 buttermilk to the butter and sugar and keep doing this until you’ve got a nice creamy batter. Then add your green food coloring; just keep adding drops until you are happy with the color.
Now you’ll add either semi-sweet chocolate chips or mint chips. The original KCET recipe calls for mini chips so chop as needed.
Remember your egg whites doing their thang on the counter? As Vintage Basics says, you’ve got a pretty stiff batter and when you first start folding it seems like you’ll never get the egg whites and batter to play nicely but keep folding (using a rubber spatula, folding the batter over and over to mix but not destroy your egg whites), cutting (literally cutting the batter in half with your spatula), and occasionally giving the batter a good stir.
Your batter will incorporate, I promise, without destroying your hard won stiff peak egg whites. Pour into your baking vessel and bake. It took 20ish minutes for my cupcakes and Vintage Basic says two 8-inch cake rounds will take between 30-40 minutes. As with any cake, stick a wooden toothpick in and if it comes out clean, your cake is good to go.
Chocolate Ganache Buttercream Frosting
I used a neat chocolate ganache buttercream I found at Party Over Here blog and it is yummy. I modified it because I only had half and half on hand and the ganache came out pretty good. I also added the butter bit by bit so I probably put in a couple tablespoons less. My notes on using this frosting is that you need to work somewhat quickly as it will harden up a little.
1 lb good quality semisweet chocolate (I used 60% and 70% Ghiradelli bars)
1 cup heavy cream (you can sub half and half in a pinch)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened (I used salted and could barely notice the salt but if you want a pure ganache buttercream, get the unsalted)
Over a double broiler (I use a Pyrex bowl over my small saucepan, fill the saucepan 1/3 full and bring to a simmer), melt the chocolate in the cream, whisking to keep smooth. Once melted, add vanilla and put in refrigerator to cool down. Once cool, transfer to your mixer’s bowl and using the whisk attachment, add in the butter one tablespoon at a time.
Bon Appetit and scroll down for calorie counts courtesy of My Fitness Pal.