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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Peppermint Patty Cake

Peppermint and Chocolate and Coffee...How bad can that be?

In just a few days, it will be Valentine's Day.  I'll be honest, it's my least favorite holiday.  I know, it's ~really~ not about hearts and flowers and being someone's special all-important valentine.  Yeah, right!  My friend, Melanie, has tried to convince me for years that the holiday is more about honoring the ones we love, family and friends, not just the romance part of the holiday.  As I said, "Yeah, right!"  So, in honor of my friends and family who love me anyway, I made this Peppermint Patty Cake. 
  
This cake is based on a potato cake recipe from my Aunt Barbara.  Again, a recipe written by-hand on a little card and old, old, old.  We think it may have been my Grandmother's recipe.  It calls for mashed potatoes and cocoa.  The original recipe also called for other spices, but I focused on the peppermint and chocolate combination.  Moist and full of chocolate flavor, I'm pretty proud of this one!  I will say, too, this peppermint frosting was lick-the-bowl-clean frosting.  It is that good.

And, I did a bit of research on the Peanuts character, Peppermint Patty, from whom I stole this name...I grew up with Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty.  I had forgotten that she was created in the era of women's lib and the Equal Right Amendment.  More interestingly, I also remembered her great crush on Chuck, as she called Charlie.  Unrequited love as I recall.  Something about Chuck being all confused with what to do with a girl that actually liked him...Maybe she was just too strong for Chuck...Something I can relate to...I just don't know.  

So, to all those strong women out there and for all the men beside them, Happy Valentine's Day!

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Step-by-Step
Grease and flour two, 8’’ x 2’’ cake pans and line with parchment circles.  
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add the vanilla and mashed potatoes.  Beat just to combine.  
Super cool new ingredient update:  Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush."  A very cool combo of extract and vanilla bean seeds.  Gotta shake it up, first.  Can you see the little seeds?  And, another good use of the shot glass here at BIWB!
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  
Pour into the prepared pans and try to make them as even as possible. 
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until just set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  
Run a knife around the edge and remove from the pan.  Cool completely until ready to frost.
Make the frosting as directed...Look how creamy and pink!  You can see the little specks of the vanilla bean paste. 
Honestly, I almost licked the bowl clean!  I rarely eat the frosting with such utter abandonment...I used the Andes' Peppermint Crunch Bits on the first layer.  Let's just say, never look back, okay?
All gussied up and ready for her closeup! 

Peppermint Patty Cake
Based on my Aunt Barbara’s Potato Cake Recipe

Ingredients
Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (I used cake flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder (do not use instant coffee)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Frosting
1 cup salted butter
1/4 cup Peppermint Mocha Kahlua
2 tsp Peppermint Schnapps
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
5 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
3-4 tbsp corn syrup

Andes’ Peppermint Crunch Bits (for between the cake layers and as decoration)

To make the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two, 8’’ x 2’’ cake pans and line with parchment circles.   In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, soda, powder, salt and espresso powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add the vanilla and mashed potatoes.  Beat just to combine.   In a measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and Peppermint Schnapps.  With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pans and try to make them as even as possible.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until just set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Be careful not to over bake.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes until the sides just come away from the pan.  Run a knife around the edge and remove from the pan.  Cool completely until ready to frost. 

To make the frosting
With a paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until broken up, but not smooth about 1 minute (you don't want you butter to get too hot=runny).  Add the Kahlua, schnapps and extracts.  Beat on medium for one minute, scrape bowl until just emulsified.  Beat for another minute, scrape bowl. 

Slowly add in all the confectioners sugar.  Beat on medium for 1 minute, scrape bowl.  Beat on medium for 1 minute, scrape bowl. To achieve desired spreading/piping consistency:  Add 1 tbsp corn syrup and beat for 30 seconds, repeat as necessary until desired consistency.   Beat for 1 minute on medium high.
I shared this with a few folks at work.  It fed 14 people!  ONE CAKE!  BIG CAKE!  YUMMY CAKE!  Maybe with this cake, Peppermint Patty might have had a better chance with Chuck...Just sayin'.  



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1 comment:

  1. OMG. Peppermint is my FAVORITE. I could eat tons of peppermints for the rest of my life! Love this cake and the crushed mints on top. I've actually heard of using mashed potatoes in cakes before but have never tried it. Now I have every reason to!

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