If you're hosting Christmas dinner, or having a New Year's Eve party, I have a lovely and delicious dessert for you! This past weekend, we had a gourmet group gathering at the home of good friends. This cake was assigned to us (BTW, that means me) to bring as each couple gets an assignment that the host and hostess determine.
There was a note in the recipe that peppermint extract could be added to make it more festive for the holidays. Unfortunately, I didn't have any peppermint extract on hand. What I did have were crushed candy canes from the candy cane cookies I made in my last post. The problem with crushed candy canes in the frosting was that they kept getting stuck in my piping nozzle, even though I was using the largest star tip. Next time, I'd use extract or make sure the candy canes are pulverized thoroughly!
I decorated the cake with Hershey's candy cane kisses and candy candy-dusted star cookies made with the same candy cane cookie dough from my last post for a festive look!
Since I didn't want to slice it before it was served at dinner that evening, I took a few (bad) photos with my phone while we were plating it so you could see what the layers look like and how I served it. I brought extra cookies and red raspberries for serving. It was delicious!
Ho-Ho-Ho! Wishing all of you who celebrate a sweet and Very Merry Christmas!
Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 cups granulated sugar
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 cups strong black coffee, cooled to room temperature
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
Note: I didn't have 9" x 2" pans so used 9" by 1-3/4" pans and my cake spilled over in the oven. If you don't have 2" pans, prepare a collar with parchment paper to make sure your cake won't spill over the top of the pan. Click HERE for a good tutorial on how to make a collar.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 2 - 9" x 2" round cake pan. Line bottom with parchment - See Note above ^
Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder into large mixing bowl (to make sure there aren't any lumpy bits).
Mix together cooled coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.
At low speed, beat half of buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until blended and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in remaining buttermilk mixture. Batter will seem thin. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
Bake cakes in the center of the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven. Start checking at 40 minutes.
Allow cakes to cool in pans for 5 minutes. Loosen cakes by running a metal spatula around the sides of the pans. Remove parchment collar if one was used. Turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely and remove parchment paper from bottom.
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
1 pound white chocolate, chopped up a bit
4-5 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 to 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract, or finely crushed candy canes, if desired
Melt 1 stick butter with chocolate in a double boiler (or a round metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Stir and let cool slightly.
In a mixing bowl, cream remaining 3 sticks butter with confectioners sugar and melted white chocolate mixture. Beat until creamy.
Add heavy cream, a little at a time, and beat until desired consistency is achieved. Add extracts and/or finely crushed candy cane and blend well, adding more cream if necessary.
Slice each cake in half horizontally, using a very long serrated knife. Some people use taut dental floss! Click HERE to see a tutorial on how to do that.
Place one layer on a serving plate and spread with about 1/6th of the frosting. Repeat with the next two layers. Top with remaining cake layer and spread sides and top with frosting.
Decorate cake with piped additional frosting as you wish. Top with Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, and Christmas Cookies if desired.