Chocolate & Mint Drip Cake

I made this cake for a combined Birthday/Bon Voyage dinner last weekend. I love the combination of chocolate and mint and am always keen to try out large layer cakes when cooking for a crowd.

Keep pieces small to ensure it’s not overly rich – maybe try out this technique from the genius Katherine Sabbath!

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Ingredients (serves 16-18)
Chocolate Layer Cake
2 boxes Betty Crocker moist devil’s food cake

Mint Buttercream Frosting
200g butter, softened
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups icing sugar
2-3 drops peppermint oil (or to taste)
a few drops of green food colouring

Dark Chocolate Ganache
170g dark chocolate melts
¾ cup cream
1 ½ teaspoons corn syrup

Toppings
2 x Flake bars
3 x Peppermint Crisp bars
3 x double Aero bars
1 x packet Darrell Lea BB’s chocolate mint balls
1 x packet dark Maltesers

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Method
Make 4 cakes, according to packet instructions, by halving the batter from each cake mix and baking in 20cm cake tins. Carefully trim cooked cakes where necessary to ensure they are perfectly flat, and use the best 3 (freeze the 4th for another time).

To make the frosting, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar and beat for at least 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar along with the peppermint oil and food colouring and beat for a further 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Attach your base cake to a cake board or serving tray by using a small amount of frosting as glue. Spread a layer of frosting onto the top of the cake and then top with the next cake layer. Repeat.

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Spread frosting onto the top and sides of the cake – don’t worry if you get crumbs in it, this is called the crumb coat. Using a spatula or protractor (as I did!), scrape off excess frosting so you have a thin smooth layer. Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes or until frosting is firm.

Add a second layer of frosting onto the top and sides of cake, again scraping off the excess and creating a smooth finish.

Place chocolate melts into medium bowl and set aside. Heat cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat just until it almost starts to simmer. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup. Allow to cool until slightly thickened.

Use a spoon to add a few purposeful drips over the top edge of the cake. Then spoon more ganache on top of the cake, allowing it to drip at varying points around the cake.

Top cake with Flake pieces, peppermint crisp shards, Aero pieces, Maltesers and bb’s. Alternate Maltesers and bb’s and make a ring around the base of the cake.

Serve by cutting into small pieces. Enjoy!

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Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits

I really felt like baking today, but after having had my wisdom teeth surgically removed last Tuesday, I am still not up to eating much myself. Instead, I decided to bake some homemade dog treats for Bailey who has been an incredibly sweet and loyal companion while I’ve been housebound post-op.

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Bailey LOVES peanut butter so I knew that had to be the main flavour, and I wanted the treats to be as natural as possible and preferably have breath freshening properties (as she loves a good snog!) I found a recipe on Pinterest which I adapted to suit my needs, and these quick, crunchy biscuits were the result. I made a few large bone biscuits (pictured) as well as some little hearts and they have certainly passed Bailey’s taste test.

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Ingredients (makes ~32 biscuits, dependent on size)
1 ½ cups instant oats (or rolled oats)
½ cup peanut butter (as natural as possible, definitely NOT containing xylitol or artificial sweeteners as these are toxic to dogs)
1 overripe banana
A small handful each of mint & parsley

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“Stop taking photos of them, hooman, and give me a taste”

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 trays with baking paper.

Blitz the oats in a food processor until fine. Add the peanut butter, banana and herbs and blitz until combined.

Scoop out onto a lightly floured surface and cut “dough” into desired shapes (I used a large bone and little heart shaped cutters). Carefully place on the prepared baking paper, leaving a small space between each biscuit. Prick the large bone shaped biscuits with a fork.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Watch your canine companion enjoy!

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Adapted from ‘3-Ingredient Puppy Treat Recipe’ on CraftyMorning.com

Chocolate Mint Sundae Cupcakes

Chocolate and mint are a match made in heaven and these cupcakes combine them in one deliciously compact package. The cupcakes are a dark chocolate mudcake which, to me, are the perfect blend of light and rich. They are then topped with a generous layer of fluffy mint buttercream (which tastes exactly like peppermint ice-cream I might add), melted dark chocolate and a crumbled Flake bar – what’s not to love?! These are also a gorgeous shade of green – perfect for St Patrick’s Day!

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Ingredients (makes 12)
90g softened butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
⅔ cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
⅓ cup almond meal
⅔ cup water
60g dark chocolate melts, melted

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
125g butter, softened
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Peppermint essence
Green food colouring

To decorate
1 large Flake bar, crumbled
30g dark chocolate melts, melted

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Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.

Beat butter, sugar & eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in sifted flour and cocoa, almond meal, water and melted chocolate.

Fill each patty pan approximately ⅔ of the way full. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Stand cakes in tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Once cakes are fully cool, you can make the frosting. Beat butter in a medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar and milk and a drop each of peppermint essence and green food colouring  (or until desired colour and flavour reached).

Ice cupcakes with a generous layer of frosting. To decorate, dollop each cupcake with dark chocolate and spread it so that it looks as though it is dripping slightly down the cakes. Top with crumbled Flake.

Enjoy!

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Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Cupcakes by Colour’ cookbook

Chocolate Mint Fudge

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St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us and so I am all about the green in my baking at the moment! This fudge is super quick and easy – taking only a few minutes cooking time from start to finish. I love this fudge as it isn’t too sweet (the major issue I have with most fudge), and I’m a sucker for the mint/choc combination.

Feel free to omit the chocolate drizzle on top if you wish, and if you prefer a marbled finish you can make the 2 fudge layers at the same time, and swirl them together in the tray instead of layering them.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups dark chocolate melts
400ml can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups white chocolate melts
Green food colouring
Peppermint essence
Approx. ½ cup dark chocolate melts (melted) to drizzle on top

Method
Line a rectangular baking tray with baking paper (a small tray will give you fewer pieces of thick fudge, larger will give you more pieces of thinner fudge – it’s up to you!).
In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt the dark chocolate melts with half of the condensed milk, stirring occasionally.

Spread evenly into the pan and chill in the fridge.

While the chocolate layer is chilling, melt the white chocolate and remaining condensed milk on the stovetop on a low heat.

Add peppermint extract to taste (I used 1 teaspoon) and a drop or two of green food colouring.

Spread evenly over chilled chocolate layer.

Put in the fridge to set.

After approximately 10 minutes in the fridge, melt the remaining dark chocolate melts and drizzle over the fudge.

Leave in the fridge until set and then cut into small squares. Enjoy!

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Note: can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a fortnight.

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Adapted from ‘Choc Mint Fudge’ on Grab Your Spork.com.

Grasshopper Pie

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Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! In honour of the occasion I have decided to post a green recipe. I sadly lack good taste when it comes to my food and drink and love horrendously fake hues (I have a real thing for blue cocktails) and so this pie is right up my alley 🙂 I also love the classic combination of mint and chocolate so this dessert hits all the right notes for me. I choose to use marshmallows instead of gelatine in this recipe as I find it makes it faster to make and less fiddly – although it does take a while for it to set. I tend to serve mine with a little bit of whipped cream and some chocolate curls.

Ingredients (serves 8)
20 oreos (with filling removed)
100g butter, melted
¾ cup milk
24 large, white marshmallows (approx. 180g)
¼ cup creme de menthe liqueur
2 tblspns white creme de cacao liqueur
1 cup whipped cream
1-2 drops green food colouring

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Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a food processor process oreos until they resemble large crumbs. Mix in butter and then pat into the bottom and sides of a 25cm pie dish.

Bake for 5-10mins, remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, place into the freezer to chill.

In a saucepan melt marshmallows in the milk over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and add creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Mix well. Add food colouring and then fold in whipped cream.

Pour into chilled pie shell and freeze for 3-4 hours.

Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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Adapted from Grandma’s recipe.