friends and loved ones · in my kitchen

after a long absence from my kitchen….

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So, this weekend my very bestest friend of 22 years came to visit me for her birthday.  And it was wonderful. I’ll be honest:  We didn’t really do a whole lot.  A lot of chilling out and relaxing is what went on for the majority of the weekend.  Oh and talking.  lots of talking and catching up.

However, I did bake a birthday cake.  I haven’t been baking much lately, so it was a lot of fun to get back to my Kitchen-Aid and my oven. Needless to say, I enjoyed making her cake immensely.

Since she had made the long journey from Utah, I decided my cake needed to be equally epic.  And it was!   I let my guest choose from a long list of delectable options, and she chose well!

On this Monday morning I’m going to taunt you with the recipe and the photos.  Because I can.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cake  (this recipe is from the blog Shugary Sweets.)

FOR THE CAKE:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
9 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup milk

FOR THE FROSTING:

1 cup butter, softened
8 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup milk plus 2 Tbsp
11 oz dark chocolate chunks (62%cacao) or mini chocolate chips
1/8 tsp green food coloring gel

FOR THE GANACHE:

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1. In medium bowl, sift cocoa with flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In measuring cup, mix coffee and milk together. Set aside.

2. In mixer, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Slowly add in dry ingredients alternating with the coffee/milk blend (about 3 additions of each).

3. Pour cake batter into two prepared pans (two 9inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and then greased and floured). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before frosting.

4. For frosting, in food processor, pulse dark chocolate until small bits (not powder)! Set aside.

5. In mixer, beat butter, powdered sugar and milk (slowly add the milk, you may not need it all) for 3-5 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add in extract and food coloring gel. Mix until fully blended. Add more milk if necessary to desired consistency. Fold in chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips.

6. Frost first layer of cake, then top it with second layer. Completely frost sides and top of cake.

7. For the ganache, heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in saucepan. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Place chocolate chips in a bowl then slowly add in hot cream and extract. Stir until smooth and completely combined. Allow ganache to cool then pour over chocolate cake.

This recipe is totally worth every ounce of effort for your next special occasion, even the occasion of surviving this Monday!

Have a great week everyone!

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