The week before Christmas and especially if you're traveling is kinda intense in every way. I wanted to get the bathroom remodeled before we left but that was too grand of an ambition. So it's going to be pushed to my list of things to focus on next year. Next week, I'll be visiting family and friends in Virginia, my MIL wants me to make her Sam's cake, I have to let our youngest nephew play in cake batter because he has a kid's chef set and likes to stir things (I'd be happy if he likes to wash dishes too), and one of my SIL's wants me to make her something I cooked for her a while back but to make it spicy, the problem is none of us can remember what it was. I'm really excited about visiting my in laws, sleeping in late and doing nothing at the farm. I'm looking forward to antique store shopping with my MIL (who encourages this much to M's vexation) and eating a lot of Southern food. Even though, I don't care for snow that much, I'm looking forward to the possibility of it snowing hard at the farm so we can go sledding down the hills. I'm excited to go back to Virginia after two years!
If you're looking for some wonderful baking ideas and treats, I have a biscotti a recipe in the holiday special issue of King Arthur flour's magazine Sift. And the magazine is a Christmas treat in itself for any baker!
I'm used to making most of my cakes with butter or nut oils or avocado but never coconut oil as the sole source of fat. The butter swap turned out to be trickier than expected and with coconut oil, I'm always a little concerned about the fragrance that it might impart to whatever dish I'm using it in. Thankfully with chocolate it's easy and in this peppermint mocha cake, it's practically undetectable!
Every Christmas I look forward to a few traditional things, some of them being eggnogg and peppermint because they taste delicious! Califia Farms makes some tasty versions of these drinks and for this holiday season, I've used their peppermint mocha drink to make a very chocolatey and "pepperminty" flavored bundt cake. Since, I'm not a huge fan of sugar frostings, I used a chocolate ganache type of frosting to decorate the cake and then studded the top with crushed candy canes. This might be the closest, I'm getting to making a very cutesy cake this year.
I've also realized as M has pointed out to me on multiple occasions, I keep referring to candy canes as peppermint sticks! I gotta stop making that mistake.
Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this cake:
- Do not over mix the flour in to the batter, the cake uses coconut oil and if you mix it too much, the final texture can be dry. I noticed that in the second iteration of this recipe.
- You can use cake flour in this recipe, just keep the weight the same as it is for the whole wheat pastry flour.
- I used regular cocoa powder over dark because that gets very intense in this combination.
- Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container, avoid refrigerating it as coconut oil will harden making the texture of the cake a bit hard.
peppermint mocha bundt cake
yields: 12 servings (one 2 quart bundt cake mold is what I used)
226gm coconut oil, melted but cooled + 2 tablespoons to grease the mold
3 cups (726gm) whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup (30gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt
1 cup Califia peppermint mocha milk
3 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, cold
1 1/2 cups (340gm) finegrain/baking sugar
1. Grease the bundt cake pan with the two tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Then Take 1 tablespoon of the flour and dust the pan with the flour evenly.
2. In a large mixing bowl, dry whisk the remaining flour and all the dry ingredients up to the salt. Keep aside until ready to use.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, sugar and remaining coconut oil. Whisk on medium-high speed until pale yellow, this should take about 4 minutes. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, then add half of the whisked dry ingredients and half of the peppermint mocha milk into the batter. Whisk on low-speed until just combined, then add the remaining flour mix and peppermint mocha milk to the cake batter. Pour this batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking process. The cake will rise and should be firm to touch when done. A skewer when inserted should come out clean through the center.
5 . Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip the cake over onto a plate lined with parchment paper and let it sit in the mold for 5 minutes. The cake should release easily, transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow cool completely to room temperature before glazing it.
chocolate ganache and peppermint glaze
yields: about 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups semisweet dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed candy canes, coarse
1. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil in a thick bottomed saucepan placed over a bowl of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and has a shiny sheen. Pour the hot melted chocolate glaze over the top of the cake while it is sitting on a wire rack. You can use a parchment paper to collect the extra chocolate that drips to the bottom.
2. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top of the cake and allow the chocolate to set before cutting.
Disclaimer: A big thank you to Califia Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely mine.