Monday, April 12, 2010

Grasshopper Cake

I have to admit, this particular cake seems slightly intimidating for some reason. Perhaps it is the long laundry list of ingredients, or the slightly complex assembly process. But you can't deny the draw of chocolate and mint! And it's gorgeous. . .

So the batter came together fairly easily. I baked the cakes on the lower end (35 minutes), and they looked great, but the centers did sink a bit after I took them out. So I suggest leaving them in for a few minutes longer. The cake is also extremely delicate, and will fall apart if you aren't gentle with it. But it does taste great!

The peppermint buttercream is pretty awesome! I've never made a cooked frosting with flour before, but it turned out great! It's light and fluffy without being as rich as a Swiss meringue buttercream. I also added 3 drops of green food coloring to get that lovely mint color. Tip for this frosting - make sure you beat the sugar/milk/flour mixture long enough! The texture will change completely, but it does take quite a bit of time. I also added an extra 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract to get a decent mint flavor.

I'm not sure about the ganache. I used Scharffen Berger 70% chocolate, which I think was too dark considering the recipe has no added sugar. I had to end up adding powdered sugar to make it balanced, which didn't hurt the texture.

The assembly of the cake is not as bad as I thought it would be. I put the ganache layered cake in the freezer instead of the fridge because my kitchen was a bit warm. The buttercream spreads on like a dream. You can really have a lot of fun with decorating this cake, but I wanted to keep it simple, so I just used chocolate chips.

All in all, I think this recipe is pretty good, and with one or two more tries, it could be pretty perfect! Oh, and try to have a kitchen helper, the dirty dishes are intense!

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