2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cups hot water
¾ cups low-fat butter milk
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
GANACHE AND GLAZE:
1lb semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1.5 cups heavy or whipping cream
2 tbsp. peppermint extract
1 tbsp. corn syrup
14 dark chocolate thin mint candies (such as After Eight)
Peppermint sticks Starlight mints
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper and lightly grease paper.
- In a large bowl with the mixer on low speed, beat flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined. With mixer running, add water, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter between prepared pans.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tootpick instered in centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert onto racks. Discard parchment paper; cool completely. Cake layers can be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, overnight.
- Prepare Ganache: Place chocolate in large heatproof bowl. In a two quart saucepan, heat cream on medium-high until just bubbling. Immediately pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in peppermint until well combined. Return one-third ganache (about 1 cup) to saucepan; set aside for glaze. Refrigerate remaining ganache, uncovered, 10 minutes; with wire whisk, stir well. Repeat chilling and stirring until ganache is the consistency of frosting and becomes light brown.
- With a long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on wire rack set over waxed paper. Spread top with one-quarter of frosting and top with another cake layer, cut side up. Spread with another quarter of frosting and top with even layer of thin mint candies, breaking pieces to fit. Place another cake layer on top. Spread with another quarter of frosting and tope with final cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake to seal in crumbs. Let stand in cool place for frosting to harden and set.
- When frosting is set, add corn syrup to reserved ganache in saucepan. Heat on low just until runny, stirring constantly. Pour glaze over cake and immediately spread to evenly coat top and sides. (Excess glaze will run through rack.) Let cake stand until set. Carefully transfer to cake plate. Decorate with candy as desired.
Bonus: If the cake is done, you can add Dairyland whipping cream on top.