Mint chocolate chip birthday cake

You know it’s true love when your loved one requests something you despise, but you make it anyway. I can’t stand any kind of mint, whether it’s sweet or savoury (in fact, I dislike it so much that the kids had to be the frosting taste testers to determine how much mint to add!) but my husband loves it. This works well when it comes to boxes of chocolates, because he will always take the mint ones first.

When it comes to icecream, he’ll always go for the mint option. I’ve tracked down some good ones for him, like the ones from Duck Island and Wooden Spoon, but he reckons you can’t go past the good old mint chocolate chip from Tip Top, the kind you get from the dairies that still do scoops. Anyway, the point I am getting to is that it was his birthday last week, so being a good wife, I thought I would make him this amazing mint chocolate chip cake. Even though I wouldn’t have any. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

So, the cake. Let’s break it down:

  • rich, chocolate cake layers, so easy and you don’t even need a cake mixer
  • minty fresh frosting, studded with dark chocolate
  • decadent chocolate ganache drizzle

By all accounts it is really delicious but I wouldn’t know lol. If you’ve got a mint lover in your life, go and make this cake for them.

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For the cake

Ingredients 

250g dark chocolate (I used 62%), chopped finely
250g butter, cut into cubes
300g flour
165g brown sugar
165g caster sugar
75g almond meal
40g cocoa, the darker the better
2½ teaspoons baking powder
375ml milk
4 eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease and line 3 x 8″ cake tins.
Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and melt it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the chocolate mixture, milk and eggs, and whisk until smooth.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

For the frosting

340g butter, softened
9 tablespoons cream
3-5 teaspoons mint extract (I used Hansells natural peppermint essence)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6c icing sugar
85g dark chocolate, finely chopped (see notes)
green food colouring (I use Wilton leaf green)

Method

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and cream together on medium until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the icing sugar. Mix on medium high until it’s well combined and light and fluffy.
Add the two extracts and mix again. Keep tasting it until you’ve got your preferred mint level. Add a couple of drops of food colouring and mix until well combined.
With the mixer on low, add the chocolate and mix until just combined.

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Do you want to just dive right in? I don’t.

For the ganache

Ingredients 

110g dark chocolate, finely chopped
75ml cream
12g butter, in little pieces

Method

Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan to just under boiling. This won’t take long so keep an eye on it.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and swirl it around. Leave it for 10 seconds then gently whisk it until everything is combined. Add the butter and continue whisking until the ganache is smooth and shiny.
Leave it to cool for 10 minutes before using.

To assemble

Torte the 3 cake layers so they are level (torting is when you slice the top of the cake off so it’s nice and flat.)
Place one on a platter and plop a big dollop of frosting (about 1 cup) on top. Smooth it out close to the edges with a palette knife.
Repeat with the next two layers. At this stage I like to put the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the frosting to set, which stops the layers sliding around.
When you are ready to proceed, cover the top and side of the cake with frosting and smooth it over. There is enough to do a crumb coat if you prefer. Make sure the top is smooth and flat for the ganache.

To make the chocolate drizzles, gently drop teaspoonfuls of ganache on the edge of the cake and give them a wee nudge over the side. You can use more for bigger drips, and less for little ones. Once you have finished with the drizzles, spoon the remaining ganache into the middle and spread it out evenly. Pop the cake into the fridge to set.

This is best served at room temperature so remove it from the fridge about 2 hours before serving. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

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Notes

  • Frosting adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
  • The chocolate needs to be finely chopped, otherwise it becomes too hard to create a smooth finish. Your palette knife will keep getting caught on big bits of chocolate.

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