And so the chocolate peppermint recipes continue! Mostly because I still have candy canes. Although I love peppermint candy, I’m not really into the whole candy cane thing. They’re a little bit unwieldy and messy to eat. So the only thing I can really do with candy canes is bake yummy holiday treats with them. My hands are tied! I have no choice in the matter!
I’ve posted some relatively light holiday desserts this month, but now it’s time for something decadent. We all need to indulge a little during this time of year, right? (Note that I didn’t say over-indulge.) The good thing about these mini-cakes is that they’re portion-controlled–and believe me, with two kinds of chocolate ganache involved, portion-control is a good thing. One is enough for anyone! (Oh, and if you have leftovers, these freeze quite nicely.)
I wanted to make mini-cakes instead of one big ginormous cake–I figured I could either make a sheet cake and cut smaller circles out of it or use cupcake tins. I went the cupcake tin route and turned the finished cupcakes upside down (after shaving a little cake off the top so they’d stand flat). If you want to make traditional cupcakes, you can simply omit this step and rather than cutting the cakes into layers, use a pastry bag to fill each cupcake with the whipped ganache. No matter how you assemble these, they will turn out fabulous. I mean, you can’t go wrong with chocolate ganache and peppermint, right?
Festive mini holiday cakes made with a chocolate peppermint whipped ganache filling and topped with a rich ganache glaze and a dusting of crushed candy canes.
Whipped Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Filling:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Chocolate Ganache Glaze & Candy Cane Topping:
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 candy canes, crushed
Start by making the whipped ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
Allow ganache to cool to room temperature. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
Remove chilled ganache from refrigerator. Using a hand mixer, beat at low speed until stiff but still spreadable. Fold in peppermint extract.
While the whipped ganache is chilling in the fridge, start the cakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Continue beating and add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Carefully add flour mixture and milk while beating on low speed.
Fill sprayed muffin cups 3/4 full–you should have 16 cupcakes. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.
Right before you’re ready to start assembly, make the chocolate ganache glaze. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool slightly.
Now it’s time for assembly! Cut the rounded top off of each cupcake so they stand flat when turned upside down. Feed this to your children and/or significant other. Cut the remaining cake in half lengthwise so you have two layers. Spread one layer with whipped ganache and sandwich the two layers back together by pressing firmly. Using a spatula, smooth over any ganache that’s oozing out of the enter. Repeat for all cakes and return them to the wire racks.
Place parchment paper under wire racks. Using a large spoon or ladle, drip chocolate ganache glaze onto cakes. To fully frost them, use a spatula to distribute glaze evenly over entire cake. Sprinkle tops of cakes with candy cane pieces.