I don’t usually post cake recipes, in fact this may be the first one. The truth is I always thought they take forever to make, but the satisfaction at the end is worth it. If you set aside enough time and prep as much as you can, then it can almost be therapeutic.
Making cakes is nothing new for me. I spent years as a baker working with piping bags as big as my arm. True cake decoration is another story, I have a huge respect for decorators who can turn out amazing themed birthday cakes. I like to stick to the more basic versions, like what you’d see in the display case at your local bakery.
I adapted this recipe a little and made it using a tried and tested brownie recipe I found years ago on Recipe Girl’s blog. It’s a basic brownie but can be changed with all sorts of add-ins or flavors and tastes so moist and outrageously tasty! It’s a go-to brownie recipe for me.
That white line you see running through the middle of the chocolate brownie cake is a Ghirardelli White Chocolate Peppermint bar. I know, weird right? You could switch that for any other flavor of thin chocolate bar you prefer, salted caramel would be amazing or a spicy chipotle flavor. But the holidays are coming so peppermint is what I’m working with.
This chocolate brownie cake is dense, heavy and full of chocolate and if you’re like me, you’ll agree that’s exactly how it should be. As if the brownie isn’t chocolate-ey enough, a thick chocolate ganache is poured over the top and finished with swirls of chocolate frosting. Things to watch out for- don’t over cook it. If it starts to dry out after a few days, pop each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds and it’ll become soft and gooey again.
Brownie adapted from Recipe Girl– Chocolate frosting from Martha Stewart
Peppermint Chocolate Brownie cake
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 oz sticks unsalted butter 8
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Ghirardelli White chocolate Peppermint Bars 3.5oz
For The Ganache
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
For The Chocolate Frosting
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lightly grease a 9 inch spring form pan and dust with flour, set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Using a stand mixer, make the chocolate frosting. Beat the soft butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk until creamy and free of lumps. Set aside.
Make the ganache by heating the heavy cream until hot. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir with a whisk until the chocolate becomes smooth and shiny. Set aside.
To make the brownie cake, melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat. Add the chocolate chips and mix until melted and smooth, switch off the heat.
Add both sugars, peppermint oil and vanilla, mix until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time to the pan whisking well after each one.
Pour the chocolate batter into the flour with the cocoa powder and whisk well until all lumps are gone.
Pour about 1 cup of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread it out to cover the base.
Take a peppermint chocolate bar and lay it in the center of the pan. Take another chocolate bar and split it down the middle evenly.
Half each of those split pieces and use it to fill the spaces beside the full bar already in the brownie batter.
Pour more batter on top of the chocolate bars, enough to cover them and repeat with the other bar of chocolate.
Finally pour the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes and then let cool for at least an hour.
Before covering the brownie with the ganache, check to see if the top is level. You can carefully slice of any high peaks with a sharp serrated knife.
If the ganache has started to set, you can heat it over a low heat until it becomes pourable again.
Starting in the center of the brownie, pour the ganache in a circle until you almost get to the edge of the cake.
You can push the ganache over the edge by using a spatula, you might not use all of it. Keep the rest for serving with slices of the brownie cake.
Put the cake in the refrigerator and let it set for about 20 minutes.
Using a piping bag with a plain tip, create swirls of frosting evenly around the cake and top with crushed chocolate if desired.