Five months to go to the wedding and I’m still obsessing over making my own cake and what form this should take…
So, I’ve experimented with a Rachel Allen recipe for a chocolate mint cake she has suggested as a New Year celebration option. There’s a link to the original recipe above, but my own version involved the odd substitution.
A few years ago, I wasn’t that keen on baking as it involved precision, whereas I’m an easy-osy kind of gal. Recipe says one tsp chilli flakes, I immediately think two or three. 25G grated cheese? Nowhere near enough. No onions in the fridge, let’s substitute celery kind of thing.
Then I decided on a cake and fizz theme for my birthday this year and spent a blissful weekend with my mum and sister baking cakes in advance of the event. Oh the joy of measuring, mixing, beating and watching the magic work. It also helps that an afternoon of baking fills your home with warm vanilla scents and produces such delicious results (though my whisky and sultana cake wasn’t that great…)
A few more cakes down the line and confidence creeps in – what if I swapped this for this? I’m not so keen on butter icing (too sweet) either, so mixing and matching toppings and flavourings is fun too. And you wouldn’t believe the number of great baking blogs and websites out there!
Anyway, here it is – my Rachel Allen-inspired mint choc cake:
- 75g baking margarine
- 75g unsalted butter
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 200g self-raising flour
- 3 large, free range eggs
- 125g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 50ml double cream
- 100g after dinner mint chocolates (broken into small pieces)
- Pinch of salt
- 200ml double cream
- 200g full-fat cream cheese
- 200g icing sugar
- ½ tsp green food colouring
- 20g mint leaves, chopped finely
- After dinner mint chocolates, halved into triangles
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with parchment paper. Line the sides too, so that they overlap the top of the tin (it makes for a better finish on your cake).
Melt the chocolate and double cream together, either over a pan of hot water or in the microwave. Beat the margarine, butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (this takes about five minutes, even if you are using an electrical mixer). Add the eggs one at a time and then add the cooled chocolate mix and continuing beating until well combined. Fold in the four, pinch of salt and the broken up chocolate mints. Put the mix in the prepared tin and cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the tin for five minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting, mix a tbsp of the icing sugar with the mint leaves and pour over 3tbsp just boiled water. Steep for an hour and then strain (keeping the liquid and discarding the mint leaves). Whisk the double cream together with the liquid until thick. Beat the remaining icing sugar with the cream cheese until combined and then whisk in the double cream. You should get a fairly thick mixture. Add in the green food colouring until you get an even colour.
Use to decorate the top of the cake and then cut into evenly-sized squares. Top each square with a halved after dinner chocolate mint.
VERDICT FROM MY FIVE-YEAR-OLD NIECE: yuck. I’ll put that down to the intense chocolate flavour… And if I was making it again, I’d split the cake and put icing in the middle too.