The busiest time of the year is behind us and in-between all the tree trimming, gift giving and chestnut roasting, I managed to bake one very festive holiday cake. Although I'm not exactly a chocolate cake kinda guy (can we still be friends?) I do love the combination of chocolate and peppermint. Think York Peppermint Patties, After Eights, or those infamous Thin Mints that are trotted out every year by Girl Scouts all across America. All delicious chocolate minty perfection.
This chocolate bundt cake is divinely decadent thanks in part to the addition of the loveliest crème fraîche from Normandie. I've used this recipe dozens of times for my chocolate cake-obsessed friends and it's one of the easiest to follow. I added pure peppermint oil to the icing sugar for that minty fresh glaze. For a little holiday flair and additional mint zing you can sprinkle broken bits of peppermint sticks over the glazed cake. I picked up a box of Red Bird Peppermint Sticks on my last trip to California since they can be difficult to track down here in Paris.
I delivered this particular cake to Café Oberkampf, where my cakes occasionally pop up on the weekends, so I wasn't able to take any slice shots this time around. Although the holidays are over this would still make for a fun winter-time cake nestled fireside with a good book and maybe a mug of cocoa.
- 1 cup of unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup of Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 Tsp of salt
- cup of water
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour or Type 55 here in France
- 1 3/4 cups of caster sugar
- 1 1/2 Tsps baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of Crème Fraîche (or Greek Yogurt)
- 1 Tsp of Vanilla extract
For the mint glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
- /2 Tsp of peppermint extract ( I recommend Nielsen & Massey)
- I added a splash of water depending on how thick you want your glaze.
For the crushed candy:
Peppermint sticks and a hammer or mallet! ;-)
- Heat oven to to 350 degrees F. or 175 degrees C.
- Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
- Combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir just until all the ingredients are combined then remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together your flour, sugar and baking soda. Add half of the melted butter mixture to the bowl and blend. Once combined continue adding the rest of the butter mixture. Add eggs one at a time until, whisking until blended.Lastly add in the crème fraîche and vanilla extract. Whisk until mixture is completely smooth.
- Scrape batter into your prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cake cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling make the peppermint glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the peppermint extract. Using a whisk stir together adding a splash of water to reach desired consistency.
- Wrap peppermint sticks in a tea towel and using a hammer or kitchen mallet smash into bits. Drizzle the glaze over your cooled cake then sprinkle your candy pieces on top.
*Adapted from a recipe by Sam Mogannam and Dabny Gough which appears in the book, Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food