Sunday, December 15, 2013

peppermint chocolate bundt cake

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And to celebrate, I have a tradition of packing 30-odd people into my 500 square foot studio apartment and plying them with bourbon punch and cookies until they forget the close quarters and start feeling festive.

There are a few things that are always on the menu: the aforementioned punch, my favorite cookies ever, iced sugar cookies, and some sort of over the top, no holds barred peppermint chocolate show stopper. Last year, it was this pink candy cane layer cake. This year my version was more casual, but no less delicious. A devil's food bundt cake was spread with a pillow of mint buttercream, drizzled with chocolate mint ganache, and sprinkled with crushed candy canes.  It's hard to resist the holiday spirit with this on your table. Even if you're packed like sardines into a small studio apartment. Happy Holidays!

Peppermint Chocolate Bundt Cake

For the Cake
*Note: My bundt pan is only 10 cups, so I did 2/3 of the recipe

For the Peppermint Buttercream
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons whole milk or half and half
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, or more to taste
pinch salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until soft and well combined. Add milk or half and half, peppermint extract and salt and beat several more minutes, until light, fluffy and the desired texture. Taste and add more peppermint extract if necessary. If your icing is too dense and buttery, add more powdered sugar until it's the desired consistency. 

For the Mint Chocolate Ganache
*Note that I halved the recipe, and added a little additional cream to make the ganache the desired consistency for drizzling

For Assembling the Cake
3 candy canes, roughly crushed by sealing in a ziplock bag and using a rolling pin to pound to the desired texture

Place the bundt cake on a cake stand or plate. Use a spatula to spread a thick coating of the peppermint buttercream over the top of the cake. Put the mint chocolate ganache in a liquid measuring cup or other vessel with a spout, and drizzle a thin stream over the top of the cake, letting the ganache run decoratively down the sides. While the ganache is still soft, sprinkle candy canes over the top of the cake. 

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