Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake
I found this recipe on the Food Network website about a year or so ago. I made this for David last winter (maybe around his birthday?) and I knew that we’d be having this again someday. When I was trying to think up a dessert for our big family dinner last weekend, it came to mind again and I thought I’d give it a try. For a cake from scratch, I think it’s very forgiving. This was the first “from scratch” cake I ever made, and I didn’t have any problems at all. I did cheat a little bit when it comes to the garnish, but I don’t think anyone really noticed.
This cake is rich and dark. The texture is heavy like a brownie (not that that’s a bad thing!). If you like York peppermint patties or Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, I promise, you will not be disappointed by this cake. It even looks like a giant Thin Mint cookie!
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cake
Serve with whipped cream, cocoa fudge sauce, and a drizzle of mint syrup.
- 14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli)
- 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup (6 ounces) small-diced peppermint patty candies (I used York mini patties, cut into sixths).
- 1 cup cream
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Whipped cream, for serving
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, and flour the pan, tapping out the excess flour.
Melt the chocolate with the butter and cream in the top of a double boiler. Reserve.
In the bowl of a mixer with a whip, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until very thick and light (about 5 minutes). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix until just blended. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the bowl once or twice. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the Peppermint Pattie pieces. The mixture will be quite thick.
In a clean mixing bowl, with a clean whip, beat the egg whites to medium soft peaks. Lighten the batter by stirring in about one-third of the egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites and the place batter in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. The top of the cake will feel set and very fine hairline cracks will just start to form around the edges. Remove and cool in the pan on a rack.
To make the ganache topping: Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan to just under a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and, over very low heat, constantly stirring, cook the mixture until it is completely smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable. This can take several hours. You can make the topping up to 3 days ahead, refrigerate it, and allow it to come to room temperature for several hours before using. You can also hasten the cooling process by placing the melted ganache over an ice bath and gently stirring it till thickened; however, the resulting texture may not be quite as smooth and creamy.
Place the cooled cake upside down on a cardboard cake circle or a service plate. Remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Remove the parchment liner. Using an offset spatula, decoratively spread the ganache over what is now the top of the cake, drawing the ganache all the way out to the edges of the cake. Using the offset spatula, level the edges to give the cake a finished look. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream and a drizzle of mint hot fudge sauce.
Note: The original recipe calls for making your own cocoa fudge sauce and mint syrup to drizzle over the cake when serving. I cheated both times. When I made it for David the first time, I used a store-bought mint chocolate flavored hot fudge, which worked well. This time, I made my own mint-flavored hot fudge by adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract to a jar of store-bought hot fudge. It was delicious, and hard to imagine that all the extra work of creating my own sauces would be worth it. Maybe I’ll try it someday though. Of course, homemade whipped cream is best, but I skipped that too. I didn’t want to make my guests wait around all day while I whipped cream for the cake. I think David got real whipped cream the first time though.