Last weekend my family and I gathered to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Naturally I was in charge of dessert. Today I’m sharing the Dark Chocolate Mint Cake that I made especially for her.
I think it’s safe to say that my mom has a weakness when it comes to dark chocolate… add some mint and it’s downright irresistible in her mind. I’ve made this cake for her before, but this time I wanted to decorate it with a little more flare so I made a chocolate chip mint swiss meringue buttercream (I added a little green food coloring) to cover the outside of the cake. I made ganache to pour over the top and drop over the sides. I used Andes Mint pieces and cut up an entire Hershey’s Special Dark bar to decorate the top of the cake.
Doesn’t the ganache dripping over the side look awesome?!! The mint gave the cake a very refreshing flavor. I used a whipped mint chocolate frosting in the center. Everything worked so beautifully together and it wasn’t overly sweet. My family loved the cake… most importantly my mom really liked it. 😀 She told me that I was truly mastering the art of cake making. Thanks for the ego boost mommy!
This cake is refreshing, chocolaty, and delicious. Sure to please the dark chocolate aficionado in your life or maybe even a Leprechaun. 😉
PS If you’re more a “cupcake” person instead of cake you can find that recipe here.
- 2 c flour
- 2 c sugar
- ¾ c Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 1 c milk
- ½ c canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2½ tsp mint extract
- 1 c hot (brewed) coffee
- ¾ c (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
- 3 - 3½ c powdered sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1½ tsp mint extract
- 2 - 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ c sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp mint extract
- 30 g (1/4 of a 120 g XL bar) Hershey's Special Dark bar, finely chopped
- green food coloring (I used Wilton gel, leaf green)
- 90 g (3/4 of a 120 g XL bar) Hershey's Special Dark bar, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ c heavy whipping cream
- pinch of salt
- ½ c Andes Mint pieces
- 1- 120 g Hershey's Special Dark XL bar, cut into large chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8" cake pans by spraying with a baking spray (or spraying with vegetable oil spray and lightly flouring)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the flour, sugar, dark cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and instant coffee. Whisk it together to get any lumps out and until combined
- Add the eggs, milk, oil, and extracts and mix on low speed. Scrape down the sides very well and mix again on medium for about 30 seconds combining all the ingredients.
- Scrape down the bowl again and with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the hot coffee. Scrape down the bowl very well and mix again on medium speed for about 30 seconds. The batter will be thin.
- Divide the batter into the prepared baking pans. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out dry.
- Cool cake in pans for approximately 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling. (If you will not be immediately decorating the cake once cooled then be sure to wrap the layers well in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container until ready to decorate.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter.
- Add the powdered sugar ½ c at a time mixing well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the cocoa powder and salt, mixing well. Then add the extracts and beat on high for a couple minutes.
- Add the heaving whipping cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.
- In a double boiler, whisk the egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt. Continue whisking over simmering water for about 3 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and is warm to the touch. You can test it be rubbing it between your fingers, it will be smooth and thin. Be careful not to cook the egg whites because this will result in gritty frosting.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beginning on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high, whip the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and it has cooled. This takes approximately 7 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Cut up the butter, 1 stick at a time, into the mixture and beat briefly for 30 seconds on medium speed between each addition. When the last stick of butter has been added, scrape down the bowl and mix on medium high speed. When you add the butter the meringue deflates, but don’t panic. Keep mixing and in about 2 minutes the mixture comes together and looks like silken goodness.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue mixing.
- Add the extracts and beat until it is completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Fold in the finally chopped chocolate.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the heavy cream for 45 seconds
- Poor it over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- Add a pinch of salt and mix well, set aside to cool slightly
- Place a dollop of whipped chocolate buttercream in the center of a cake board/platter/stand and put the first cake layer on top of it.
- Level the cake by trimming off the "domed" portion, then torte the cake by slicing it in half. This will be the first 2 layers of the cake. Carefully remove the top layer and set aside.
- Spread ⅓ of the whipped mint chocolate buttercream on the first layer and place the second layer on top of that spreading another ⅓ of buttercream on it. (layers 1 and 2 are done at this point)
- Level the second cake and torte it (creates layers 3 and 4). Place the top layer over the buttercream layer upside down.
- Spread the remaining buttercream over the cake and place the last layer upside down on the cake. (By placing this last layer upside down you create a very flat surface as the top of your cake making it easier to decorate and it also looks more professional.)
- Smooth out the sides of the cake using an offset spatula if any buttercream came out of the sides. Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and frost with the mint chocolate chip buttercream. Spread it evenly over the top and sides of the cake using an offset spatula. Place the cake in the freezer again for 15 minutes to set the frosting.
- Once again remove the cake from the freezer and pour the ganache over the top of the cake. Spread it around with a small offset spatula until the desired look is achieved. The cooled cake will help to set the ganache so you do have to work fairly quickly to keep it as smooth as possible.
- Garnish top of cake with Andes pieces and Special Dark Bar chunks.