When I have a serious chocolate and peppermint craving, nothing but this cake will do. York Peppermint Patties? Hah! I scoff in the face of those puny little candies. The only peppermint patty I’m interested in is made with flourless chocolate cake, white chocolate-mint ganache, and is 9 inches in diameter. THAT’S what I’m talking about.
This cake is a bit of a Clark Kent. It looks mild-mannered, even a little boring from the outside. “Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just a flat chocolate cake with some shiny ganache on top. Ho hum…”
…until you cut into it. Bam! Suddenly there’s a surprise white chocolate-mint layer, hiding under the chocolate, just waiting to punch you in the mouth with that refreshing minty flavor. Hurts so good.
While this idea could technically be made with any chocolate cake recipe, I really wanted to make it with a flourless chocolate cake. I’ve had so many flourless cake experiences where the center collapsed and the cake looked a little tragic, I needed redemption. (Although a collapsing middle is a normal feature of some cake recipes, it doesn’t square with my perfectionist tendencies.) I figured a flourless chocolate cake would be delicious, yes, but more importantly, the collapsed center would form the perfect container for the thick layer of mint ganache.
Well, it took a few tries (RIP, weird raw moussey cake-beast) but I finally ended up with a recipe that’s dense and fudgy, extra-chocolatey, and that collapses in the middle without having a crunchy, crackly top that shatters into a million pieces. Success!
So this perfectly imperfect flourless chocolate cake is topped with a thick layer of white chocolate ganache, generously flavored with mint. I considered going with a powdered sugar-based filling, so it’d be more like a peppermint patty, but decided that I’d rather have a smooth, rich, creamy texture instead of a firm, candy-like one.
Speaking of the texture, will you look at this beauty?! This is not a cake for those folks who prefer dry, unadorned bundt cakes. If the word “moist” in connection with cakes squicks you out, keep on moving, because this cake is the definition of moist. It’s got the fudgy chocolate layer, and the creamy mint business, and then a soft layer of chocolate glaze on top. It’s super decadent and definitely best enjoyed in small slices.
I topped mine with flecks of gold and silver leaf, but it looks just as good without any adornment, or with fresh mint leaves, chocolate curls, or even sprinkles! Enjoy!
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 oz unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 5⅔ oz (3/4 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tbsp coffee or water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 oz white chocolate, finely chopped, or white chocolate chips
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½-1 tsp mint extract
- Pinch salt
- 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 10 oz (1¼ cup) heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper, and spray the pan and parchment with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, set it aside to cool until it is room temperature.
- Combine the eggs and brown sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Beat with a whisk attachment on medium speed for about 5-7 minutes, until it triples in volume. Fold in the melted chocolate, coffee or water, vanilla, and salt. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer.
- Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, until the edges are set but it's still jiggly in the middle. It will be puffy, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out with moist crumbs (but not raw batter) attached. Cool the cake on a wire rack at room temperature until completely cool. The center of the cake will sink as it cools.
- Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. Combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Heat the cream until it comes to a simmer and small bubbles appear along the sides of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and let it sit for one minute, to melt the chocolate.
- Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until your mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Add the room temperature butter and whisk it in. Add ½ tsp mint extract, and the salt, and whisk them in. Taste the ganache, and add additional extract if desired, to get a minty flavor that you like. (Different brands have different strengths, so it's always a good idea to start with a small amount and increase if necessary.)
- Pour the white chocolate ganache into the indentation on top of the cake, smoothing it into an even layer that's flush with the edges of the cake. Trim the edges if necessary, so the cake has a flat top. Refrigerate the cake until the white chocolate ganache is very firm, at least 2 hours.
- Unmold the cake from the pan and place it on a cardboard cake circle, then set the cake on a wire rack. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Heat the cream until it comes to a simmer and small bubbles appear along the sides of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for one minute, to melt the chocolate.
- Gently whisk the cream and chocolate together until your mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Immediately pour the warm chocolate over the cake, using a small offset spatula to push it to the edges and to smooth it over the sides. Refrigerate the cake to set the chocolate glaze, for about 30 minutes.
- If desired, top the finished cake with fresh mint leaves, gold or silver leaf, or chocolate curls. You'll get the cleanest slices if you cut it while cold, but for the best taste and texture, let the slices sit at room temperature for a little while before serving.