Amanda Peppermint "Hot" Chocolate Cake

By Marisa Dabney | Jan 12th, 2017

Amanda Faber reminisces about her days as a barista to create a warm-beverage flavor in her Peppermint "Hot" Chocolate Cake for the "Finals Week" Showstopper Bake. Working as a barista gave her joy when she watched patrons fill up on whatever warm drink they ordered during cold days, and she's hoping those warm feelings translate into the decadent cake she created for the judges this week. The final creation is made with layers of chocolate jaconde cake and a peppermint buttercream filling, topped with a thin layer of chocolate glaze. Watch the full episode of "Finals Week" from The Great American Baking Show Season 2 episode 8.


Chocolate Jaconde:

171g almond flour

171g confectioners sugar

171g all-purpose flour

45g unsweetened cocoa powder

9 large eggs

3 large egg yolk

6 large egg whites

96g granulated sugar

84g (2tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

Peppermint Buttercream:

1/2c water

150g granulated sugar

4 large egg yolks

226g unsalted butter, room temperature

1tsp pure peppermint extract 

Chocolate Glaze:

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

200g bittersweet chocolate chips, divided 

Chocolate Milk Soak:

1tsp cocoa powder

1/2c water

115g granulated sugar

1/2tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2tsp pure chocolate extract

1tbsp heavy whipping cream

Peppermint "Hot" Chocolate Cake:

Chocolate Jaconde:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400° F/205° C .

2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the almond flour, confectioners sugar, flour, and cocoa.

3. Add eggs and egg yolk. Mix on high for 5 minutes. Set aside.

4. Put a new bowl on the stand mixer and change to a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites with the granulated sugar until soft peaks.

5. Fold half of the egg whites in to the other mixture. Then, stir in the melted butter.

6. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.

7. Using a scale with a bowl on top divided batter evenly among 3 sheet pans. Spread with off-set spatula to smooth.

8. Bake one at a time for ~7 minutes.

9. When the sponge is removed from the oven, slice around the edges to loosen. 

10. Invert the cake on to a large cutting board covered with a piece of parchment paper. Cool.

Peppermint Buttercream:

1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over high heat, boil the water and sugar until 238° F/114° C.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks for one minute.

3. Once the sugar has reached the proper temperature, stream it in to the stand mixer with eggs while it is running.

4. Beat until completely cooled, 5-7 minutes. 

5. Beat in the butter little by little until thick and smooth.

6. Add in the peppermint extract.

Chocolate Glaze:

1. Over a bain-marie, gently melt the butter and 170g of the chocolate. Stir constantly to keep an even temperature.

2. Once melted and smooth, stir in the remaining 30g of chocolate.

3. Cool until room temperature but still liquid. Reheat if necessary. 

Chocolate Milk Soak:

1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-high heat, stir the cocoa powder, water, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Stir in the vanilla extract, chocolate extract, and heavy whipping cream.

Assembly:

1. Assembly the cake on a large cutting board.

2. Soak the first cake with the chocolate milk soak. Cover with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat with remain two layers. The top layer of buttercream should be very, very thin. You should see the cake through it in all places. It's only there to make it smooth.

3. Pour on the chocolate glaze. Spread it to be smooth. It's okay if it runs off.

4. Chill the cake for ~10-15 minutes.

5. Cut in to 12 equal pieces, probably about 4x1.5 inches.

6. Garnish each cake bar with a marshmallow and a mint leaf.

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