I usually bring most of my weekend baking into work on Monday morning or share it with our neighbors.  On most weekends we don’t even cut into whatever I make.  Norman isn’t much of a sweet eater and if I cut into it that is a sure sign that I will eat the whole thing and my waistline doesn’t fare well when I do that so I try to get the stuff out of the house as soon as possible.

I bring so many baked goods to the office that when I don’t bring them in there is a steady stream of people through my office on Monday morning wanting to know what happened.  One of my co workers usually brings a slice of whatever I bring in home to his wife Julia.  A few weeks ago Julia requested that I make something chocolate.  While I have to admit that I am rather bored with chocolate desserts. I admit I have a special fondness for the often time consuming composed cakes, lately I have been spending alot of time exploring the easy bundt cake recipes that I avoided for so long.  I didn’t want to ignore Julias request so I found this interesting (and still easy) chocolate peppermint cake.  I hope she likes it.

The name Andes (referring to the Andes after dinner mints in the green wrappers) chocolate cake is a bit of a misnomer.  The cake itself has no mint in it at all, the Andes mints here are reserved just for the chocolate ganache the cake is frosted with.

The original recipe for this that I found called for a chocolate cake mix.  If that is your pleasure, certainly use one.  I prefer not to use them.  I had found a chocolate cake recipe a while bake that I decided to try here.  It is super easy.  Mix the dry ingredient together, mix the wet ingredients together.  Mix these together until combined.  Add a cup of hot coffee, mix to combine, pour into pans and bake.  It is that easy and produces a very light, moist chocolate cake.  It was a pleasure to find this simple recipes makes such a nice layer.  It is rather delicate.  While frosting I found that I was being a bit heavy handed and was tearing the edges of the cake, it is that moist.

The ganache here is made in the traditional way by pouring the hot cream over the chocolate, letting it stand and then stirring to blend.  Simple.

This cake is filled with a light peppermint buttercream simply made by beating together butter and confectioners sugar and adding a bit of peppermint extract.  It all comes together to make a rather nice, not too minty chocolate cake.

ANDES CHOCOLATE CAKE

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

devil’s food cake mix (My cake recipe below)

Peppermint Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract
4-6 drops green gel food coloring, optional

Chocolate Ganache

1 pt. heavy cream
24 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup Andes mints, plus more for garnish

Directions

  1. Bake two 9″ round layers of chocolate cake according to box instructions. Let cool completely.
  2. Make ganache. Make the Ganache: Pour heavy cream into a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, and once you see tiny bubbles form around the edges, remove from heat and add chocolate chips, whisking until combined. Let mixture chill until it reaches a spreadable consistency, at least 30 minutes, before frosting cake.
  3. Cream together all buttercream ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffy, adding more powdered sugar if the frosting is too loose. Add food drops and stir until evenly combined. Add more until you reach your desired color.
  4. Top one round cake with peppermint buttercream, then place the second cake on top of it. Frost the top and sides of the with ganache. Garnish the bottom of the cake with Andes mints. Top with chopped mints. Serve.

Chocolate Layer Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup piping hot coffee

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 9 inch round layer pans.
  2. Add all the dry cake ingredients to a bowl or stand mixer.
  3. Next add all the wet ingredients except for the coffee and mix until combined.
  4. Finally, pour in the HOT coffee and stir it in until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the cake pans and bake 30-34 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool on a rack for 15 minutes then flip cakes out onto the rack and allow to cool completely.
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