I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thin Mint Cake

I needed a "special occasion" cake this weekend, but I couldn't really find quite the right one (which, if you follow me on Pinterest you would know seems unlikely...), but once you get an idea in your head it is hard to buck.But I found a box of Thin Mints in the freezer and the person I was making the cake for really likes Thin Mints, but had requested a cake....and this is what happened.
Thin Mint Cake

I wanted a really chocolaty cake, but it turned out I didn't have any baking chocolate, so I amped it up a bit with the cocoa and it was tasty.  I also wanted mint frosting, so I used a pretty typical butter cream recipe and added a touch of peppermint oil, but the frosting was a little rich, and since I cut the two layer of the cake in half to give me more frosting (between the now four layers) and then I couldn't fit the cake in my freezer for the crumb coat, I had to double the batch of frosting, so then I decided I would cut the sweetness by adding a dark chocolate layer of ganache over the top.  Don't judge, it is how my brain works.  And it did cut the sweetness.

Thin Mint Cake Recipe

  •   2 cups cake flour 

  •  1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  •  1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 

  •  3/4 teaspoon salt 

  •  3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  •  2 cups (packed) brown sugar 

  •  3 large eggs  

  •  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  •  1 cup buttermilk 

  •  3/4 cup hot water

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  Sift together cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla. Add flour mixture 1 cups at a time, alternating with buttermilk, beating just until blended. Gradually add hot water, beating just until smooth. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.     
Simple Mint Butter Cream Frosting

 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
 6 cups powdered sugar
 1 teaspoon clear vanilla
 1/16 teaspoon peppermint oil (may use extract, add to taste)
 green food coloring
 1/2 cup milk  (more or less)       

Beat Butter until smooth.  Add vanilla. Add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time alternating with milk until you have the desired consistency.  Add Peppermint and food coloring.
*Note: for the cake above I doubled this recipe

  Chocolate Ganache

 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips   
1 cup heavy cream  
1 teaspoon vanilla            

Heat Cream in Microwave on low in 1 minute increments, watching carefully, and stirring between each minute.  When cream starts to boil, remove and pour over chocolate chips.  Add vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Allow to cool 30 minutes to an hour until it is almost room temperature but still pourable.  If it thickens too much, heat 1" water in a shallow dish and set chocolate bowl in it for a minute, then stir.  The heat of the water through the bowl will loosen it up-do not pour it over the butter cream frosting if it is too hot--it will melt it. I let mine get a little thick...I might test it by pouring a little out and see how it does.

It takes about 1 sleeve of Thin Mints to go around the bottom of the cake and for decoration on the top (well...it takes about that many if you "accidentally" keep breaking the cookies when you cut them in half so that they have to be eaten...)

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