- 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- 3/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3/4 cup(s) hot water
- 3/4 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup(s) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
Ganache and Glaze:
- 1 pound(s) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
- 3 tablespoon(s) crème de menthe or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 tablespoon(s) corn syrup
Assembly and Decoration:
- 14 dark chocolate thin mint candies (such as After Eight)
- Candy canes
- Peppermint sticks
- Starlight mints
- Prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper; lightly grease paper.
- In large bowl, with 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 toothpick inserted 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 2-qt. saucepan, heat cream on medium-high until just bubbling. Immediately pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in crème de menthe until well incorporated. 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 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 top 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.