This cake was one of my favorite things I’ve ever baked for three reasons: 1. chocolate, 2. peppermint, 3. it’s so pretty (if I were to add a number 4, I’d also say it was pretty easy too).
The peppermint isn’t as strong as in the peppermint patties I’ve made recently or the chocolate peppermint brownies, but it is there and it goes so well with the depths of dark chocolate that the cocoa powder and the silky dark chocolate ganache help it achieve.
So what did we do with this special cake? I’m sad to say that we didn’t make it and keep it all to ourselves, eating it in bed while watching the Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network (that would be exactly my kinda night). Instead we took it to another Christmas party (my fiancé is still trying to convince me that we did the right thing) that some new friend’s of ours were having so that everyone could share and enjoy.
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup cocoa powder (we use Dutch processed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and cocoa a bundt pan and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until completely blended. Whisk in the sour cream, peppermint extract, and the vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before glazing.
While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate glaze. Place the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Drizzle the glaze over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies.
Yield: 10 slices