I had the opportunity to make my little sister Lizzie’s birthday cake this year. While I thought a Queen Elizabeth cake would be appropriate, Lizzie’s request was for a mint chocolate cake. I can’t say I was too disappointed since mint and chocolate is quite possibly one of the best food combinations known to man kind.
After making many variations of chocolate and mint cakes over the years, I think this combination is finally just right. The secrets: hot coffee & Andes Candies. Oh, and ganache, you can’t forget the ganache.
Did I just lose any of you? Did you read ganache and go “nevermind, this is going to be too difficult”? Don’t go running away just yet. Trust me, this cake is nothing to be afraid of (at least not as far as making it is concerned…sharing it is a different story).
Now that you’re back, let’s start baking!
The Minty Devil
- 1 box of Andes Candies, unwrapped (minus the 1 or 2 that you eat while unwrapping them)
- 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee (plus an extra mug full for you)
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 more box of Andes Candies (also unwrapped, but I hope you realized this on your own)
- 6 oz of dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet work well too)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
How to put it all together:
- Give the Andes a quick chop so that they are all in half or smaller and place in a medium bowl.
- Pour yourself a mug of coffee to enjoy and then pour the remaining 1.5 cups over the chopped Andes.
- Let the coffee and Andes sit for 5 mins while you enjoy your cup of coffee and then give it a stir to make sure the Andes are fully melted and mixed in. Set to the side.
- Sift (or light stir together) all the dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy.
- Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and coffee-Andes mixture to eggs, beating well to blend.
- Add in the dry ingredient mixture, one cup at a time, mixing just to combine after each addition.
- Pour batter into 2 9-inch cake pans that have been well-greased.
- Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, using toothpick to test the it’s cooked all the way through.
- Let cakes cool completely in pan. Run a knife around edges to loosen before turning out onto rack or plate.
- Place one round either on your serving plate (if you don’t mind chocolate pooled around it) or place it on a cake board (aka a piece of cardboard cut in a circle slightly smaller than your cake) and place on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet under it.
- Chop the Andes up again and put in a bowl with the chocolate chips. I use my Pampered Chef batter bowl because it has a handle and a spout that makes it easy to pour out. (Did I’m a Little Teapot just start running through your head?)
- Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly so they don’t get scorched.
- Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes (maybe have yourself another cup of coffee if it’s one of those days). Then stir chocolate to make sure completely melted and smooth.
- Pour a layer of ganache on the top of your bottom layer of cake that doesn’t quite get to the edges.
- Place the second layer of cake on top of the ganache.
- Slowly pour ganache over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides. If needed use a spatula to help spread ganache on top over sides.
- If your cake was on a rack let the ganache set for a few mins before transferring it to a serving plate.
- Chill the cake for at least 4 hours before serving
For Lizzie’s birthday I also added some piped buttercream to decorate the cake but it’s not needed. Simply cut yourself (and maybe your friends) a piece, pour a cold glass of milk and enjoy!