As with so many National Days, National Peppermint Latte appears on some calendars on December 3, and is missing on others completely. Last year, I chose to celebrate Peppermint Latte with a delicious recipe that utilizes Candy Canes. It’s December, what else would you expect?
This year I was very much tempted to forgo the whole Peppermint Latte share. After all, a Peppermint Latte is a Peppermint Latte – right? So instead, I thought why not share a wonderful silky cake to enjoy with your Peppermint Latte?
That was the original plan. But then I stumbled upon a recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Latte. How could I resist? I say let’s have our cake and latte too.
French Silk Layer Cake
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Water
1 box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 (3.9 oz) box Instant Fudge Pudding
Heat oven to 325-degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Spray bottoms and sides of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Sprinkle with flour. Shake to coat, tip upside down and tap out extra. Set prepared pans aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs with oil until foamy. Add water, cake mix and pudding mix. Beat for about 30 seconds to blend on low. Increase speed to high and mix for 2 minutes.
Pour 1-2/3 cups batter in each prepared pan. Spread evenly.
Bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
French Silk Frosting
1 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
1/4 cup Butter, softened
6 Egg Whites
1-1/2 cups Butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups White Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 oz Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
Sift powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add softened butter, mix well. Add a splash of milk to create a simple buttercream frosting. Cover and refrigerate.
Separate eggs, place whites in a bowl that will fit snuggly over a pan of simmering water. Reserve yolks in the refrigerator for another purpose.
Cube 1-1/2 cups of butter, let pieces soften, set aside.
Add white sugar to the egg whites. Whisk to combine. Set bowl over pan of simmering water and let cook for 20 minutes, beating occasionally with whisk, until sugar has dissolved and egg mixture reaches 160-degrees.
Remove from heat; pour into bowl of electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes or until glossy peaks form and bowl has cooled to feel slightly warm when touched. While still on on high speed, slowly add the cubed butte one piece at a time, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until mixture is smooth, thick and shiny, 12 to 14 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add cold buttercream and whisk until blended.
Fit decorating bag with 1/2-inch round piping tip; fill with 1-1/4 cups vanilla frosting, and set aside in the refrigerator.
Chop chocolate and place in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave chocolate uncovered on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir, microwave another 30 second. Stir, continue to microwave in 10-second increments until chocolate can be stirred smooth. Let stand 10 minutes. Beat cooled melted chocolate into remaining frosting until smooth.
Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup chocolate frosting on top. Spread around sides. Top with second cake layer; spread 2/3 cup chocolate frosting on top and sides. Place third cake layer on top. Frost top and sides with remaining chocolate frosting. Using decorating bag, pipe frosting mounds on top of cake with vanilla frosting. Pipe mounds around bottom rim of the cake. Place in refrigerator and chill for several hours for frosting to set.
When ready, slice and serve. Store any remaining cake, loosely covered, in refrigerator.
White Chocolate Ganache Peppermint Latte
4 (4-oz) White Chocolate Bars
2 cups Heavy Cream
Chop white chocolate bars and place in the top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water. Add cream and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until chocolate fully melts.
Remove from heat but leave in double boiler until ready to use. Make Latte.
4 cups Water
1/2 cup Soft Peppermint Candies
5-1/4 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder
1 cup Whole Milk
2-1/2 cups White Chocolate Ganache
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1 cup Soft Peppermint Candies
Whipped Cream as desired
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. As the water comes to a boil, finely chop the peppermint candies. Place half of the candies in a shallow plate. Fill a second plate with a little water. Lightly dip rims of mugs into water, then in chopped peppermint. Set aside.
To the boiling water, stir in espresso until dissolved. Add in milk, White Chocolate Ganache, and extract, and return to a boil; cook for 1 minute.
Pour espresso mixture into mugs, and top with whipped cream and remaining peppermint; serve hot with a slice of cake.