Posts Tagged ‘Mint’

How does one measure patience?  As the mother of small children, mine (and to be fair, theirs) is tested daily.  But that’s not really what I’m talking about today.  I’m talking more about the ability to delay gratification, or to be patient enough to wait until the time for something is right.  Heck, maybe I’m not talking about that at all, but the point is, I’ve been patiently waiting to make this cake for a very long time.  I’ve  drooled over admired this recipe for a decade.  Seriously.  I’ve always known I was going to make it, and this year I finally decided the timing was right.  No more delayed gratification here– that’s the sort of patience I’m talking about.

So was it worth a 10-year wait?  Absolutely.  This beautiful cake is a stunner.  Not only does it look spectacular, it’s loaded with deep, rich chocolate flavor throughout.  The cake and glaze are primarily dark chocolate, while the center boasts creamy milk chocolate to vary the flavors.  It also perfectly combines refreshing mint– chocolate’s soul-mate during the holiday season.  The layering of the flavors is marvelous.  This decadent cake is the perfect ending to your holiday meal, so don’t wait a decade to make it.

The Recipe: Triple Chocolate and Peppermint Cake

(Serves 12)


8 ounces good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon peppermint extract


1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

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

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs,  room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped or miniature chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze:

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet good quality chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

chopped peppermint candies for garnish

To make the Filling:  Place chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pour over the chocolate; add extract.  Let sit for one minute.  Whisk until smooth.  Let mixture sit at room temperature while cake is baking and cooling.

To make the Cake:  Position rack in the middle of oven.  Preheat to 350°F.  Prepare a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides by buttering, lining with parchment paper, buttering again, and dusting with flour.  Tap out excess flour.  Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl.   Set aside.  In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in both sugars, then vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed.  Beat in the dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions each.  Mix in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Transfer batter to prepared pan.  Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45- 50 minutes.  Be sure not to over bake.  Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a rack.  Remove parchment paper.  Cool completely.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the filling until fluffy and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Using a serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally in half.  Place 1 layer, cut side up, on rack set over baking sheet.  Spread filling over.  Top with second later, cut side down.  Chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze:  Stir chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted.  Mix in extract.  Cool glaze until just lukewarm but still pourable, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup glaze over center of cake.  Spread over top and sides of cake.  Chill for 15 minutes.  Pour remaining glaze over the center of cake, then spread quickly over the tops and sides.  Sprinkle with peppermint candies.  Serve after the glaze has set and the cake is at room temperature.  Store at room temperature under a cake dome.

Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, December 2001

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Here’s a little insight into what’s going on in my head– and I realize this is not normal– but the highlight of my week usually involves hitting the local farmers’ markets with my family.  Aria, my two-year-old daughter, loves it as much as I do.  We pretty much have to drag the home-body boys (Aanen and Radd), who protest all the way.  Well, maybe not all the way.  Once they’re out of the  house, I think they enjoy it, too.    

Anyway, late Summer is when the market really shines– so many different varieties of produce to choose from!  Last weekend I snagged these gorgeous purple potatoes.  Look at how vibrant they are!  This is nature.  This is food.  And it still amazes me.  Despite what some sources say– and I know it’s probably just in my head– I feel like purple potatoes have a more earthy flavor that a plain-old white ones.  If not, well then they’re just more interesting.

This potato salad keeps it simple, yet looks fantastic.  The point is to let the beautiful colors and fresh flavors be the center of attraction, rather than cover everything up with a glop of mayo.  The addition of the herbs (especially the mint, do NOT omit the mint!) make this salad taste like Summer.  The subtle flavor of creme fraiche lets the produce shine, yet adds that creaminess you expect in a potato salad.  The radishes give a contrasting delightful crunch.  If you don’t have creme fraiche, you can use sour cream, but you’ll notice a bit more of a tang.  I love to finish this salad with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  It just works and it’s one of my favorite potato salads.

The Recipe:  Creme Fraiche, Herb, and Purple Potato Salad

1 – 1 1/2 pounds new purple potatoes

handful of parsley, mint, and basil chopped (around 3/4 cup total)

5-6 green onions, chopped

6  large radishes, chopped

1/2  lemon

1/3 – 1/2 cup creme fraiche

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked blacked pepper, to taste

To steam the potatoes:  I prefer steaming to boiling– the potatoes retain less water this way.  Put potatoes in a steamer basket placed in a saucepan with a tight lid.  Make sure to put enough water into it.  Steam potatoes until nearly done, then turn off heat and let them sit for 10 more minutes.  The potatoes will continue to cook with the heat turned off.  The cooking time will vary based upon the size of your potatoes, so be sure to check it.  I steamed mine for 25 minutes, and let them sit for another 10 minutes.  Yours may take less time.  Just be sure to check them by inserting a sharp knife into them.  Be sure your saucepan doesn’t run out of water.

Sprinkle potatoes with a bit of salt and let them cool.  Meanwhile, chop the herbs, radishes,  and green onions.  Add them to the cooled potatoes, along with the creme fraiche, olive oil, and a squeeze of the lemon juice.  Don’t squeeze the full amount right away.  Taste as you go along, and definitely feel free to adjust measurements to your liking.  You may want a bit more creme fraiche and olive oil.   Be sure to season with salt appropriately, as the salt really brings all of these flavors together.    Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today.  Have a great weekend!


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