“Do you have a cake,” wrote my friend Jessi, “that would be good for bringing to Christmas parties, but also good for staying home and eating by yourself?” Jessi was on track, because I have just the cake. This one is a soft and light chocolate peppermint cake without the really overwhelming heaviness that sometimes comes with chocolate cakes. The speckled icing looks just like a scoop of mint chocolate chip, and is perfect for eating alone in your pajamas while you skip your aunt’s neighbour’s annual boxing day relative-off.
Most of us are lucky enough to have sweet, funny families that we love. Most of us also have a family-time limit that can be reached pretty quickly around the holidays – something about the over-indulgence, the booze, and the emphasis on all-togetherness all-the-time. Eventually, inevitably, something snaps – politics raises its ugly 2016-ish head, someone ratchets up their passive-aggressive metre over the way the dishes are(n’t) being done, or you get in fight about whether millenials really are as entitled as they seem. People get cranky and everyone needs a break.
What better to do on a people-free break than bake and eat a beautiful cake? The peppermint oil in this beauty is also good for cooling down that headache that’s been coming on since brunch at Aunt Mary’s. Of course, if you’re a sharer/carer, you can bring this baby over to your parents’ to apologize for writing a blog post about how annoying families are. Whatever works, you know?
The cake itself uses the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 + 3/4 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 ounces of unsweetened baker’s chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 + 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 drops of peppermint oil
In the following order:
- Beat the sugar and the butter together until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs – one at a time, beating in between each one
- Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a second container.
- Combine the milk and water in another.
- Add the flour mixture and the milk/water mixture into the batter in alternating dumps, mixing in between each addition.
- Shake in some peppermint oil. To be honest, I didn’t measure the peppermint oil – I just shook it in until it tasted good. 8 drops just feels right, you know?
Pour into two greased-up round pans and bake at 350 until done. Mine took about 26 minutes.
Icing-wise – you can make buttercream icing without me. Just use the recipe on the back of your icing sugar bag. Add some peppermint oil, a few drops of green food colouring, and chopped-up peppermint chocolate chips to arrive at a delicious, ice-cream looking icing that looks just as good on the table at a pre-christmas celebration as it does in a bowl while you watch netflix in your pajamas.
Enjoy the cake, my friends! Whether you share it with friends or co-workers or keep this baby all to yourself, this minty beauty will do you well this holiday season.