I have a reputation with my children for getting a little bit carried away when I do Christmas baking. A few years ago, I was so excited about having all of our children and grandchildren home for the holidays, I kept adding to the items I just had to make. By the time they all arrived, I had quite a dessert “buffet” that included 18 items. I still haven’t lived that down!
This month’s issue had all the makings for me getting carried away again. It was difficult to stop coming up with recipes. Hopefully, I will have gotten some of the need to bake out of my system before Christmas and can keep the recipes to a reasonable number. Only time will tell.
Peppermint Red Velvet Cake
- 1 box red velvet cake mix
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 c. vegetable oil
- 8 oz. white chocolate
- 2 t. vegetable shortening
- 1- 8 oz. pkg. Cream cheese softened
- 1 c. unsalted butter softened
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 t. vanilla
- 1/4 t. peppermint extract
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- Peppermint balls
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans with wax paper. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. For cake: prepare cake mix according to package directions substituting buttermilk for water. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake for 17-20 minutes until firm and toothpick comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Invert and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, chop 4 oz. of the white chocolate. Place in a small microwavable bowl with shortening. Microwave, stirring frequently, until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into a small plastic wrap lined loaf pan. Tap on counter to settle. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes. This will be more chocolate than you need, but you need it to make good curls.
- Frosting: Chop remaining 4 oz. white chocolate. Microwave 1 minute, stirring frequently until smooth; set aside to cool slightly. Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add cooled chocolate, beating until smooth. Be sure to scrape down sides of bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract. Beat until smooth. Increase speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make even. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, trimmed side up. Spread a generous cup of frosting over top. Place another cake layer on top of frosting, trimmed side down. Gently press into frosting to make level. Spread a generous cup of frosting over top. Place remaining cake layer on top of frosting, trimmed side down, pressing into frosting to make level. Spread a thin crumb coat (this is a thin layer of frosting that helps to hold crumbs in place) all over cake. Place cake in freezer for 15 minutes to set. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream until fluffy and smooth. Fold into remaining frosting. Spread frosting over cake, making soft swirls with the tip of an offset spatula or spoon. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
Curls and decoration
- Remove chocolate block from loaf pan; peel away plastic. Holding chocolate with a piece of paper towel to prevent melting, make curls using a vegetable peeler. Place curls on prepared pan. If chocolate or curls become too soft, return to refrigerator. Decorate top of cake with curls and peppermint candy. Serves 12-15.