Thursday, March 15, 2012

Andes Mint Cake

St. Patrick's Day is a day for celebrating Irish heritage by Irish food (hello, potatoes) and drinking. Both of which I enjoy. But everyday is a day for cake. So what better way to celebrate St. Patrick's day than with a cake filled with green minty frosting and topped with adorable Andes Mints.

This may be the best gluten-free cake I have ever made. Partially because of the flour (I used The Pure Pantry and I'll be writing a post soon on a gluten-free flour review), partly because of all of the practice I've had this past year, and partly because of the wonderful (wonderful) combination of chocolate and mint. Just make sure, when making the cake, that you make the chocolate frosting at least a few hours (up to 1 day is best, though) ahead of time and refrigerate the cake in between filling the cake and frosting it so that the cake is completely set and stable. If you opt not to do this, your cake might also be so loving named by a friend "the leaning tower of pisa." It's so nice to have friends . . .

I hope you have a St. Patrick's day spent with your lovingly supportive friends, drinking, eating Irish food, and making cake to enjoy. Ordinarily, I would be going out with friends. But with the madness that has been this year, I volunteered to babysit, preferring to spend a quiet night alone in a cozy house, snuggled up with a good book and a piece of this fantastic cake. And, this year, that sounds like a perfectly good way to celebrate my Irish heritage to me.

Andes Mint Cake
Makes one 2-layer 9" round cake

2 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (contain xanthan gum)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa powder
12 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup very hot water
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips (you can use mini ones if also using them for the filling)

Mint Chocolate Chip Filling (recipe follows)
1 recipe Dark Chocolate Frosting
10-12 Andes Mints, unwrapped and cut in half diagonally

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour (I used brown rice flour) two 9" cake pans.
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Turn the heat to low and add the sugar. Whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add remaining ingredients one at a time and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture and whisk just until combined.

Pour bater into prepared pans and bake about 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely before filling or frosting.

Make mint chocolate filling

12 oz vanilla frosting (I used store-bought, but you can make your own if you're a better person than I am)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
a few drops green food coloring
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl until color is evenly distributed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Assemble the cake: Spread mint filling over first layer. Place second layer on top. Refrigerate at least an hour.

Frost the outside with dark chocolate frosting. Pipe a border or rosettes around the border of the cake. Place one halved-Andes mint on each rosette. Store in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature.

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About Me

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Salt Lake City, Utah
As a pastry chef by trade and by hobby, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease has not been easy. But through some experimental baking and a whole lot of faith, I'm living a full(er) life.