Chocolate and mint is a classic flavour combination, adding a little fresh mint and chopped chocolate to the buttercream for this Fresh Mint Chocolate Cake takes it to a whole new minty level!
My mother-in-law has a passion for chocolate mints, you can offer her pralines, truffles, cream centres or chocolate toffees but she would far rather have a chocolate mint. Her birthday is in early June so my fresh mint plant has plenty of leaves and inspired me to make a celebratory Fresh Mint Chocolate Cake.
My mint plant was rescued from the front of a ruined cottage at the top of one of our fields. It grew by the door of the cottage, and I like to think of it being planted there by the person who lived there. I can just imagine someone coming out of the door to pick some mint to make mint sauce for their roast lamb.
If you don’t have any fresh mint, you can make the cake without it as it also has some peppermint essence in the buttercream, but the fresh mint seems to be enhanced by the peppermint essence and vice versa.
Recipe for Fresh Mint Chocolate Cake
- 100 g butter or soft margarine
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 1 rounded tbsp of cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 level tsp baking powder
- 100 g butter
- 375 g icing/powdered sugar, sieved
- 1 tsp peppermint essence
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Teeny tiny squeeze of green food colouring paste optional
- 1 tbsp milk
- 50 g dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 tsp very finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Heat the oven to 180C/350C/Gas 4
Grease and line the base of two 17.5cm (7in) sandwich tins
Blend the cocoa powder in a bowl with the hot water and leave to cool.
Put the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl, add the cooled chocolate mixture and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth.
Divide equally between the two tins, smooth the top, and shake or tap the tins to evenly distribute the mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponges start to come away from the sides of the tins and spring back when the centre is pressed.
Leave in the tin for 3-4 minutes, then turn onto a rack to cool. The cakes must be completely cool before icing, and even better if you can leave it till the next day.
Put the butter in a large bowl and beat until soft.
Gradually add the icing sugar until it starts to come together then add the milk and flavourings. Beat again until you have a spreading consistency.
Add the green colouring paste and beat until you have a consistent pale green colour.
Finally add the chocolate and finely chopped fresh mint leaves and mix so they are distributed throughout the buttercream
This quantity will fill the sandwich cake and cover the top and sides. No further decoration is really needed but you could add some chocolate curls and as sprig of fresh mint.
Tip: To smooth the buttercream, keep a mug or jug of hot water beside you and regularly dip your metal palette knife (or other flat knife) into the hot water, dry on kitchen paper and when you are spreading on the buttercream, the heat in the knife will help to slightly melt it, giving a smooth finish.
WHY NOT PIN FOR LATER?
I hope you enjoy the Fresh Mint Chocolate Cake as much as my mother-in-law did and if you like the idea of adding herbs to your cakes, here are some more recipes from top UK food bloggers:
Lemon, Lavender and Almond Cake (Gluten Free) – Food Family Friends
Olive Oil, Orange and Oregano Cake – Fuss Free Flavours
Chamomile Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream – Veggie Desserts
Thyme for Lemon Cake – Thinly Spread
Lavender Honey Cake – Tin & Thyme
Apple and Thyme Cake – Tin & Thyme
I’m entering the Fresh Mint Chocolate Cake for We Should Cocoa, the monthly link up for recipes using chocolate and cocoa. We Should Cocoa is run by Choclette at Tin & Thyme, why not visit and see all the lovely recipes there?