Chocolate Peppermint Marble Cake

Inviting a girlfriend who is affectionately known to her friends as the ‘Dessert Queen of the Peninsula’ to spend the weekend with you and wanting to make an impressive dessert for her requires coming up something that is a little out of the ordinary, so I searched to find just the perfect thing and found a recipe for a chocolate mint marble cake. Honestly, how many times could she have been served a cake like this before?

A recipe from ‘All Cakes Considered’ by Melissa Gray, one of the most entertaining cookbooks about baking cakes that you’ll ever read, caught my eye. This cake is called The Naughty Senator Cake, you’ll have to buy the cookbook to read the funny story that goes with it.

I’m not sure if it was the title of the recipe or the green food coloring that caught my attention but this cake stood out from the pack as the one that I wanted to try. The original recipe calls for light rum or rum extract which I didn’t have, and I didn’t want to buy it, so I substituted Frangelico for the rum which gave me an excuse, as if I needed one, to serve this cake with chocolate hazelnut Gelato.

Of course a ‘Dessert Queen’ does not come calling with out some sort of goodies in tow, like maybe black bottom cheesecake cupcakes with a few lime cheesecake cupcakes thrown in, just some old thing she had laying around the house, trying to play it down! Oh well, back to the drawing board but I’m going to share the recipe for this cake anyway, not that my friend asked for it or anything like that. And I know what you’re thinking, forget that old marble cake I’d like to get the recipe for those lime cheesecake cupcakes!

The highlight of making a cake, beating the ingredients into a thick luscious cake pan worthy batter.

Peppermint, never enough peppermint, a wonderful ingredient that I just had to show off in a photograph on my table.

Okay, so this is where I got a little carried away (just a little?) I lack self control when it comes to using food color, I know this about myself but I always seem to find myself in this predicament. The recipe said, just a small amount of the green food coloring, for a ‘natural’ effect, oh well too late now. I should just swear off the stuff.

So, here it is, the greenness in all it’s glory! This would be a great cake for St. Patrick’s day, with a chaser of Old Bushmills. Feeling a little remorseful I followed the rest of the directions for the cake to a tee.

I poured two-thirds of the now very green batter into the bottom of a well greased cake pan.

I cleaned off the beaters and added the cocoa and sugar mixture to the yellow batter, along with a splash of Frangelico. Beating until smooth, of course.

Using a rubber spatula I poured the chocolate flavored batter over the green batter and smoothed it down.

I layered the rest of the green batter over the chocolate and prepared to go to my favorite step, marbling the batters! Then I came across another test in self control, the recipe calls for cutting through the batters 2 times, no more! Looking at the bright green batter I decided to attempt the 2 rotations around this large Bundt pan, that’s all I’m saying!

And while the cake is baking don’t forget to make the glaze, which will have time to sit and thicken.

It’s nice to have a pot of fresh mint by your back door, it always need a trim and a little sprig of it looks great on the plate with a slice of light textured chocolate minty tasting cake. So, if you want to take the plunge, center a rack, preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a large, 12 cup Bundt pan or a 10- inch tube pan.

Ingredients and Directions for the cake

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
3 & 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons peppermint flavoring or extract
1/2 teaspoon green food coloring
2 teaspoons Frangelico

In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar and all the cocoa, set aside.

With a standing mixer, cream the butter at medium speed, gradually adding the 1 & 1/2 cups sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, dry whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1 cup of the flour mixture, beat, then add 1/3 cup of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and milk are blended into the batter. Beat on medium high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour half of the batter into a clean medium bowl.

Add the peppermint flavoring and a couple drops of green food coloring to one bowl of the batter, unless you want it bright green then add more!

Pour two- thirds of the now green batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside the rest.

Clean off your mixer beaters, dry and return them to the mixer.

Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to the yellow batter and add the Frangelico. Beat until smooth.

Using your spatula, pour the chocolate flavored batter over the green batter in the cake pan.

Layer the remaining third of the green batter over the chocolate batter. Then Marble by taking a spatula or plastic knife and cutting through the batters. Bring the spatula or knife toward you and then up toward the side of the pan, rotate the pan and repeat. Two rotations, no more.

Bake for 1 hour, when the cake tests done, cool for 15 to 30 minutes and unmold the cake onto a rack. Start checking the cake with a toothpick after 50 minutes for doneness.

For the Glaze

1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons Frangelico

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, water and Frangelico and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cool.

If you want more Frangelico flavor, drizzle the cake with the glaze.

Serves 16


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