Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

I created this Mint Chocolate Chip Cake for my friend Anne's birthday celebration because I know she likes white cake, peppermint and chocolate.

The combination was also inspired by what I consider one of the best ice cream flavors ever. I hope Anne is pleased.

To make it, I stacked three layers of a white buttermilk cake flecked with mini chocolate chips between coatings of a light pink peppermint and mini chocolate chip Swiss meringue buttercream.

Peppermint extract is super intense so I used just 1/2 of a teaspoon of it in the buttercream so that it didn't overpower the cake. The addition of mini chocolate chips in the buttercream adds texture and flavor but does make it a bit harder to spread.

Usually, I coat the sides of all the cake layers at once but this time I coated the sides one layer at a time. Just be sure you've given the cakes enough time to cool before you frost or you'll be frustrated.

Here's the recipe:

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake

For the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mini chocolate chips, tossed with 2 tablespoons flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. I also like to line the bottoms with a round of greased parchment paper.
A prepared cake pan that is lined with a round of parchment.

Cream together the butter, shortening and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, a cup at a time, and whip again. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until well combined.
The batter before adding the dry ingredients, buttermilk and chocolate chips.

In another bowl combine the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, alternating with the cup of buttermilk.
Getting ready to add the dry ingredients and buttermilk.

Mix just until combined. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
It's important to toss the mini chocolate chips with two tablespoons of flour or they will sink to the bottom of the cakes.

The finished batter.

Divide the batter among the three cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
The cakes before baking.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks. Let the cakes cool completely before icing.

For the Buttercream: 

6 large egg whites
1 1/4  cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
pink food coloring (optional)
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Place the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar and cream of tartar.

Place bowl over a double boiler on medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture is very hot (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit).

Move to mixer and whip whites on high for 2 to 3 minutes; turn down to medium low until cool (use the bowl as your guide).

In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon, stir butter to soften.

With mixer on medium/high speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon just as the previous one is blended in. Once all the butter incorporated, add in vanilla, salt and peppermint and whip on high speed until fluffy. Color as desired and whip again.
Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix until well- combined.

To Assemble:
Ice one layer.

Add a second layer.

Ice the second layer.

Add the last layer.

Ice the third layer and the cake is ready.

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