Imagine a hot Summer's day and you're sat with a ice cream cone with a big scoop of mint choc chip on top. It slowly starts melting down the cone and onto your fingers quicker than you can keep up... There's my inspiration for this beauty. There's something about these flavours that just fills me with such happy memories. I promise you, whoever you share this bake with will be just as thankful!
For the cake:
- 250ml milk
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 250g plain flour
- 450g caster sugar
- 100g cocoa powder
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2tsp salt
- 120g salted butter
- 2 medium eggs
- 250ml hot coffee
For the icing:
- 500g icing sugar
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
- 2tbsp milk
- Peppermint extract
- 50g dark chocolate
- Green food colouring (optional)
For the decoration:
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- Mint Aero Bubbles (optional)
Begin by preheating the oven to 180c/170c fan and greasing and lining two 8 inch cake tins. Add the lemon juice to the milk and set aside. In a seperate bowl, gently melt the butter and set aside to cool.
Measure the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, it should resemble breadcrumbs then stir in the eggs. Slowly begin to pour in the milk mixture, making sure you keep stirring thoroughly to keep the cake mix from becoming grainy. Once all the milk is added, add the coffee in the same way, being careful not to burn yourself. The mix will be very wet so don't be alarmed. As long as it's smooth you're on to a winner.
Divide the cake mix between the two tins and bake for 30-40 minutes. I like to put a large baking tray on the shelf below the cakes to catch any of the mix that might leak through the tins - this saves a big clean up job on your oven later. Once the cakes are baked, run a knife around the edge to release from the tin and leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a cooling rack.
For the buttercream, begin by finely chopping the 50g dark chocolate and leave to the side. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl and add in the butter. If you've got a mixer use this as it will help to make your icing fluffier compared to doing it by hand. Mix the icing sugar and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and once the mixture starts to come together, turn up high and beat for a good 5 minutes. Add in the peppermint extract a bit at a time, stirring well in between until you're happy with the taste. If you're using food colouring, add this in now too. It doesn't take that much, just enough for a pale minty ice cream colour. Once you're happy with the taste and colour, gently fold in the chocolate chunks.
Once the cakes are cool you can begin to assemble it. Using a large serrated knife, carefully cut the cake in half horizontally. Repeat this with the other cake to give you four layers in total. This step is optional and the cake will be just as delicious with two layers so don't worry.
Spread a small dollop of buttercream onto your serving plate and place the first layer on top (this will stop the whole cake from sliding about). Using a pallet knife, spread a layer of buttercream on top and sandwich together with another layer of cake. Repeat this process until all four layers are stacked. Use the remaining buttercream to evenly cover the top and sides of the cake. Pop the cake in the fridge for 5 minutes or so while you prepare the decoration.
Gently melt the 100g of dark chocolate then stir in the oil. The oil stops the chocolate from setting too much and making it difficult to cut the cake. Take the cake out of the fridge and you can begin the decoration. Start by dribbling a small amount of melted chocolate on the top edge of the cake and gently push it towards the edge and let it run down. Take your time doing this until you get the hang of it. Once you have your drips all the way round, pour the remaining chocolate in the centre and spread it over the top surface of the cake with a pallet knife or the back of a spoon. Simply finish off by crumbling a few aero bubbles on top.