Friday, March 12, 2010
I worked on this cake for a long time. And now I've finally got it right. Sometimes I eliminate the peppermint and add vanilla, or I use regular cocoa instead of special dark, especially when I'm icing it. In any case, it has become our dessert standby for Cole. And it's good!
3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted (or cake flour, sifted, if you have it, but make sure to read the box for any measurement adjustments that may be required)
2 c. sugar
1.5 t. baking soda
5 T. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 t. salt
3 T. apple cider vinegar
2 c. water
3/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
4 t. peppermint extract (or 1 T. vanilla extract)
Mix ingredients in order given. Stir vigorously with a wire whisk until smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately *35 minutes (sheet cake), 20 - 25 minutes (cupcakes) or 50 minutes (bundt cake) until knife inserted into center comes out clean. *Watch cake carefully, it overcooks quickly.
Whisk together 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and 1 tablespoon soy or rice milk in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Break up 1 to 2 ounces high quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids works best - Ghirardelli Twilight Delight 72% is dairy-free) into pan, and stir until smooth. Ice cake while frosting is still warm (or drizzle over bundt cake).
Incidentally, the little hearts on the cupcakes above were a cinch - I folded a piece of wax paper and cut a little heart out, then covered each cupcake with said "stencil" and shook confectioner's sugar over it through a sifter. Note this technique yields a decoration that lasts only a few hours before the spongy cake absorbs the sugar.