Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Peppermint Filling

Years ago when I was a young newlywed, my sister gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine for my birthday. We had no kids, so I had oodles of free time to try new recipes. When I got the December 2001 issue, I knew I had to try the Triple-Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Peppermint Filling that was featured on the cover. It looked sooooo good. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how time-consuming it was to make. I think it took at least four hours from start to finish. I chose to make it on a day when we were having our Bible Study over for dessert...and it wasn't quite ready in time. They were good sports and enjoyed it eventhough it hadn't quite cooled enough which made the filling a bit softer than it was supposed to be.

I realized that night that I didn't really need to make a cake from scratch. Although the cake was good, it wasn't really worth that much of my time. But, the chocolate peppermint filling sure was! So, in the years since then, I've used regular boxed chocolate cake mix and then made the chocolate peppermint filling. Bon Appetit used a chocolate ganache for the frosting, but I prefer a homemade chocolate buttercream. If it isn't the holidays and you want a basic chocolate cake, you can omit the peppermint filling.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Peppermint Filling
chocolate cake mix, baked as directed in two round pans
one recipe of Chocolate Peppermint Filling
one recipe of Chocolate Glaze OR Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
crushed peppermint candies (optional)
  1. Make the cake mix as directed in two round pans. Cool completely.
  2. Spread Chocolate Peppermint Filing over one cake round. Top with the other cake round.
  3. Frost the cake with either Chocolate Glaze OR Chocolate Buttercream. (If using the chocolate glaze, it will need to be chilled significantly before serving or decorating with candies.)
  4. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies around the top edge of the cake (optional).

Chocolate Peppermint Filling
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan. Pour hot mixture over chocolate; add extract and let stand one minute. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Let filling stand while cake bakes & cools.
  2. After cake is completely cool, beat filling until light and fluffy and lightened in color. If it doesn’t appear thick enough, place in fridge for a few minutes to thicken and then beat again.
  3. Spread in between two chocolate cake layers. If the cake is not completely cool, the filling will melt. Frost cake with Chocolate Glaze (extra chilling time required) or Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (can be served immediately).

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a small saucepan over low heat, stir chocolate, butter and corn syrup until melted and smooth. Mix in extract. Cool until lukewarm but still pourable (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Pour 1/2 cup glaze over center of cake. Spread over top and sides. Chill until set, about 15 minutes. Pour remaining glaze over center of cake and quickly spread over top and sides. Chill until glaze sets, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup stick butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except milk. Stir in milk until smooth and spreadable.

For other holiday dessert recipes, be sure to check out LifeAsMom for Ultimate Recipe Swap!

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