A Minty Variation on Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Cake
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup very hot water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
White Chocolate Mint Filling (recipe below)
Whipped Ganache Icing (recipe below)
1 package of Andes Mints, chopped, for the top (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2, 9″ round cake pans by greasing well and lining the bottom with a 9″ round piece of wax paper, and greasing the wax paper.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Slowly add the cup of hot water while mixing on low speed. The batter will be thin.
Using a 1-cup measuring cup, evenly distribute the cake batter between the 2 pans. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about 5-10 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Place in fridge or freezer until ready to frost the cake–this will make it easier to frost and there will be less loose crumbs.
White Chocolate Mint Filling (adapted from an Epicurious recipe)
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) good quality white chocolate (such as Ghirardelli or Lindt)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 tsp. water
several drops of green food coloring
Chop the white chocolate into small chunks and place in a medium sized bowl. Heat cream in the microwave or in a pan on the stove until it boils. Pour hot cream over the white chocolate and let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally with whisk, until all the chocolate has melted. In a small bowl, mix together the extract, water, and food coloring. Slowly add to the melted chocolate and cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the ganache thickens. Make sure it doesn’t get too thick, or you won’t be able to whip it, or spread it very well.
If you want to, you can whip the ganache on medium speed with an electric mixer. It may get quite a bit thicker–too thick to spread. Just place it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it to spreading consistency. Spread between the two cake layers and return the cake to the fridge to set up. Then frost with the chocolate icing.
Whipped Ganache Icing
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1/2 bag of chocolate chips)
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
Place chocolates in a large mixing bowl. Microwave cream on high for about 1-2 minutes until it boils. (Watch it so it doesn’t overflow.) Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. You may need to let it sit a little longer for all the pieces of chocolate to melt. Refrigerate for about an hour, stirring occasionally. You don’t want it to get too thick and hard.
When the ganache has cooled and thickened, use an electric mixer to start whipping the ganache. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour the corn syrup in a slow stream while the mixer is on low speed. Continue beating until all the ingredients have been well mixed–no lumps of butter should remain. If it gets too thick, place the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds, repeating if necessary, to get the ganache to a spreading consistency.