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Chocolate Creme de Menthe Cake

We were invited to our neighbors for a barbecue and I was charged with dessert. No big deal but several of the members are a foodie crowd. Well I was all set to make this delicious looking crepe cake. What is a crepe cake you ask - it's layers of crepes and in between is a layer of chocolate cream and creme de menthe cream - well in this instance anyway. Sounds great huh? Well it was not so great.

I mixed up the creams to have the flavors blend and I set about making the crepes.  I've made crepes before but not for a while. These were a total crepe-tastrophe. They just stuck to the pan and I couldn't flip them. Now I had these two creams sitting in the refrigerator, the bowls chilling in the freezer and nothing to do with them. I decided to just go with two simple chocolate layer cakes with chocolate cream on the inside and the cream de menthe on the outside. Well talk about making lemonade from lemons - this was totally that and more!
Not a bad rescue
Chocolate Creme de Menthe Cake (chocolate cake adapted from Martha Stewart)

3/4 c cocoa powder (plus some for the pans)
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
2 eggs
3/4 c buttermilk
3/4 c warm water
3 T canola oil
1 t vanilla
1 t chocolate extract

Chocolate Filling
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioners sugar
1 T cocoa
1 T creme de cacao
1 t chocolate extract

2 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioners sugar
2T creme de menthe (or you can be more generous)
6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Grease two 9" pans and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.  In a large bowl sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix together.  Add eggs, buttermilk, water, oil, vanilla, and chocolate extract.  Beat until mixed. Divide batter between pans. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

While cake is baking (or even the day before), mix the chocolate filling and refrigerate. Mix icing and refrigerate. These should chill for a minimum or 1 hour in order to let the flavors blend. Chill 2 bowls and whisk in freezer while cream is chilling in the refrigerator.

To assemble:
Slice each cake layer in half.  The easiest way to do this is to use a large serrated bread knife. Start with a cut about 1" deep into the cake.  Spin layer around slowing just going in about 1" all around.  When you get back to where you started go in about another inch and keep spinning the cake. Repeat until the cake is in 2 layers. You do not need to you toothpicks, string, or anything.

Remove chilled bowl from freezer and add chocolate filling mixture.  Whip cream until peaks form.  Clean whisk and remove other bowl from freezer.  Add creme de menthe icing and whip until peaks form. Place one layer on serving dish (you can also put small pieces of wax paper under the cake to keep the dish clean). Spread 1/3 of the chocolate filling.  Add next layer and filling until all cake layers and chocolate filling is used up.  Now ice the cake with the creme de menthe icing. Refrigerate.
Not exactly centered on the platter but it tasted so good no one noticed
This cake is so moist and light. It really comes together quickly - it is not a fussy recipe at all. I had made the cake before using Martha's suggested icing but couldn't remember if it was a dense cake or a light one. This was a really good match. The edge of the finished cake looks a bit rough.  I really should have done a fancier job with the pastry bag and done some piping. But I was not about the tempt the Cake Gods after the great crepe escape.  I ended up using the icing comb to just make some nice squiggles on the top.

Almost looks like tire tracks ;-)
I'm not a huge fan of food coloring but in this instance I have to say it did look nice.


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