Delicious chocolate cake filled and frosted with peppermint buttercream.
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 4 6 inch cake pans with a non stick spray. Line the bottom with a parchment round. Spray again with a non stick spray with flour. Or butter and dust pans with flour. Shake out excess flour and set aside.
In a large bowl sift flour (2 cup and 3/4c up), granulated sugar (3 cups), unsweetened cocoa powder (1 cup), baking soda (2 tsp), baking powder (2 and 1/4 tsp) and table salt (1 tsp). Set aside
In another bowl whisk together eggs (4 large eggs at room temperature), buttermilk ( 1 cup and 1/2 cup), oil (2/3 cup), Vanilla Extract (1 tbsp), Almond Extract (1/2 tsp).
Bring water (1 cup and 1/2 cup) to boil, whisk in espresso powder (1 to 2 tbsp).
Pour wet ingredients (egg mixture, not boiling water) into dry ingredients and beat with a hand held mixer for about 3 minutes, until well combined. Then gradually using medium speed beat in boiling hot water mixed with espresso powder. Mixture will be fluid and it will appear runnier than other cake batters. This is normal.
Divide cake batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake 2 pans on the top oven rack (about 2/3) and 2 cake pans on the bottom rack (1/3). Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate pans. Bottom ones to the top rack and top one to the bottom rack and continue baking for additional 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove baked cake from the oven and let cool for 20-25 minutes. Then run a dull knife along the edges and carefully invert cakes onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 20 more minutes. When cakes are lukewarm, wrap or cover cakes into plastic wrap or place them into ziploc bags. Let cool completely. Cakes stay soft and moist.
Prepare 2 batches of Swiss Buttercream (see recipe notes for recipe). Flavor prepared vanilla Swiss Buttercream with peppermint extract or use concentrated Lorann Peppermint Oil. Use 1/2 to 1 tsp Peppermint Extract or 10-15 drops of concentrated Lorann Peppermint Candy Oil Flavoring.
In a sauce pan combine water (1 cup and 1/2 cup) and sugar (1 cup). Heat on medium until until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Then stir in Vanilla Extract (1 tsp) and espresso powder (1 tbsp). Set aside. Can be prepared up to week ahead. Store in the fridge.
Measure 1 1/2 cup chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Use either semi sweet chocolate chips or chop chocolate bar into smaller pieces. Heat whipping cream (2/3 cup) till almost boiling. Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate, cover with a paper towel and a plate, let sit for 3 minutes. Then whisk well until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Coat a wooden spoon with cricso. Measure powdered sugar(2 cups, 1/2 lb) into a medium size bowl. If sugar appears to have lots of lumps be sure to sift it. Measure mini marshmallows (4 oz, 115 grams) into a microwave safe bowl. Pour in water(1/2 to 1 tbsp). Heat marshmallows in the microwave in 15 second intervals stirring well after each time, until all of the marshmallows are melted. Try not to over heat. Once melted stir in extract (almond, vanilla or lemon – 1/4 tsp).
Then scrape out melted marshmallows and pour sticky mixture over powder sugar. First stir mixture with a wooden spoon coated with crisco, stir until somewhat combined. Then coat your hands with crisco and knead the mixture until homogeneous and smooth.
Coat white marshmallow fondant with a thin layer of crisco, cover tightly with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or so. Best to let it rest overnight. Marshmallow fondant can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge, well covered for up to a month.
Here is the recipe for Swiss Buttercream I use. To make Hot Cocoa Mug Cake you'll need 2 batches of Swiss Buttercream. It can be made all at once, simply double the recipe.
No, you don't. You can omit coffee and use vanilla syrup or use vanilla and chocolate extracts or you can spike it up with flavored liqueur.
Sure, you can use American Buttercream.
make your own : measure 1 1/2 cup milk into a bowl, remove 1 tbsp milk and replace it with lemon juice or white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then whisk well.