Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pin there, done that: Andes Mint Chocolate Birthday Cake

Confession: I'm hooked on Pinterest. I know everyone is, but my addiction seems to be borderline (okay, totally) bizarre. I even have a board for my dream fellowships... and the apartments that I'd live in if I got them.

Thank goodness for the "secret board" setting.

But I do have normal food-porn boards, craft boards, boards-for-the-home... And, specifically, a cake board, so I can be inspired for friends' birthdays and weddings, like this Andes Mint Chocolate Birthday Cake I found from Bird on a Cake. 

Sara's nuts about mint and chocolate (well, and peanut butter and chocolate), so this seemed fitting. I had leftover thin mint cookies in my freezer, so those had to get chopped up and thrown in between the layers and on top along with the creamy mint chunks.

I made some slight modifications to put my own twist on the cake, but remained loyal to the original pin as best I could. It was a hit, but it was so rich, almost everyone ended up taking cake home!

Happiest birthday  Sara day, dear friend!

Here's how I put my spin on the original cake/some tips and tricks:
  • I made the frosting using half unsalted butter and half vegetable shortening (which makes it easier to color); I also added 1 tablespoon meringue powder per batch of frosting to help it set up nicely.
  • I doubled the frosting recipe, since I'd rather have too much than too little-- buttercream can always be frozen for up to a year, and thawed and rewhipped when needed, so you should always err on the side of making too much!
  • I frosted each layer separately and placed them in the freezer before stacking and doing the crumb coat; this allows the frosting to set up so your cake doesn't slide around when layering!
  • I halved the chocolate ganache (otherwise, you could cover five cakes with the given recipe).
  • I bought the pre-chopped Andes Mint baking bits and chopped up some thin mint cookies to place between layers and top the cake.

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