So a few months back a couple of my friends from my course at uni suggested we should have a baking day of fun, a day where we would forget essays, lectures and dissertations, and just bake!
I, of course, thought that sounded like an awesome idea! So we set a date, and just a few days before Sarah let slip that it was her birthday the day after our baking day of fun! How sneaky is that?!
So naturally I had to bake her a cake! She was going to be miles from her home (back in Ireland) with none of her loved ones there to share it with her so we wanted to make a fuss of her and cake is always the best present I can think of!
A few days before we had been looking at my blog together in the computer rooms deciding what we should bake on our baking day. Sarah had noticed the Peppermint Crisps I had used on my lamingtons and said she had tried them before when she'd visited Australia. I subtly was trying to find out what her favourite flavours were, but she wasn't giving anything away, saying that she liked everything!
So in the end I began with Peppermint Crisps as my inspiration and evolved them into a 3 layer chocolate cake, with layers of mint choc chip frosting in between, covered in choco-mint Aero frosting with Peppermint Crisp to decorate!
Clearly my piping skills leave something to be desired! In the past month I have discovered piping candy melts makes for the best way to do wording on cakes, but this was piped before I made that discovery!
...and here's a slice of the cake so you can see inside! I used my absolutely favourite go to chocolate cake recipe because it always turns out so rich and moist. The mint choc chip frosting paired well with the rich chocolatey layers of cake and the super smooth chocolate frosting with just a hint of mint from the melted Aero really brought the whole thing together! and I just love that stained glass like effect that the chopped up Peppermint Crisps on top add to the cake!
Triple Chocolate & Mint Choc Chip Layer Cake
Adapted from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery
For the cake:
230g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids - I used Lindt)
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g light soft brown sugar
3 large eggs, free range or organic, separated
370g plain flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
500ml semi skimmed milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.
Break the choc into pieces and melt in 30 second intervals in a glass bowl in the microwave. Set bowl aside to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 3-5 minutes until the mix is pale and smooth.
Put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and beat them for several minutes, slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well.
Add the cooled chocolate to this mixture and beat well again.
Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a jug. Add one third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Carefully fold the egg whites into the main batter using a metal spoon (Do not beat or you will take the air out of the mixture).
Divide the mixture evenly between three 8" tins and bake for about 30 minutes.
Insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes, it should come out clean if cooked. Leave to cool.
For the mint choc chip filling:
From Raspberri Cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
5 cups icing sugar
4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 cup plain chocolate, chopped coarsely
a few drops of green food colouring
While the cake is cooling make the filling.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and peppermint extract.
Add in the icing sugar one cup at a time, and then add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time until frosting is smooth and desired consistency has been reached. It will be quite a soft frosting (not one that could be piped).
Stir in the food colouring (if desired) and then fold in the chocolate chips.
For the Mint Aero chocolate frosting:
Adapted from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery
100g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids - I used Lindt)
75g Mint Aero chocolate
225g unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk, at room temp
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
250g icing sugar, sifted
Melt both chocolates in 30 second intervals in a glass bowl in the microwave until smooth. Leave to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar until smooth - this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer.
Add the melted chocolate and beat again until thick and creamy.
2 Peppermint Crisps
Spread a layer of mint choc chip filling on top of one of the chocolate cakes.
Stack another chocolate cake on top and add another layer of mint choc chip filling.
Put the final chocolate cake layer on top.
Frost the sides and the top of the cake with the Mint Aero chocolate frosting.
Chop up Peppermint Crisps using a sharp knife.
Sprinkle the Peppermint Crisp crumbs around the top of the cake.
Pipe on your message.