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Mint Chocolate Kintsugi Cake Recipe

yield: 1 8-inch, 3-layer cake
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Special Equipment

  • Special Equipment: a digital candy thermometer, tweezers

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups 8 ounces cake flour
  • 2 cups 14 ounces granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup 2.25 ounces natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup 8 ounces buttermilk
  • ½ cup 4 ounces canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 8 ounces very hot coffee
  • For the Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 8 ounces around 1 cup large egg whites (from around 10 large eggs)
  • 2 cups 14 ounces granulated sugar
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 cups 16 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract

Assembly

  • green food coloring
  • edible gold leaf

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment, too.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. Slowly pour in the coffee. The batter will be fairly runny; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to finish mixing until smooth and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans; if using a digital scale, note that this recipe makes around 44 ounces of batter—pour 14.6 ounces of batter into each cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • Whisk together the egg whites and the sugar in the top pan of a double boiler (or, make a homemade version by placing a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan filled with 2 to 3 inches of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium-high heat, whisking intermittently, until the mixture registers 160°F on a candy thermometer.
  • Once the mixture reaches 160°F, immediately pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has turned into a meringue that holds medium-stiff peaks. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should be at room temperature and no residual heat should be escaping the meringue out of the top of the bowl. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the whisk and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Once incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the paddle and bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on medium-low, add the peppermint extract, ½ teaspoon at a time, tasting the buttercream after every addition until satisfied with the flavor.
  • Scrape out about ⅔rds of the buttercream into a medium bowl and set aside. Add 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring to the remaining buttercream and beat on medium-low until a uniform green.

Assembly

  • Once the layer cakes have cooled completely, use the white batch of the Mint Swiss Meringue buttercream to assemble the cake. Use around ⅔ cup of frosting between each cake layer, and cover the cake with a smooth, thin layer of frosting. You’ll likely have a lot of buttercream leftover—this is ideal, as you’ll need this later in the decorating process. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour to allow the buttercream to set.
  • Once the buttercream has set, remove from the refrigerator. Cover the bottom half of the cake with green batch of buttercream, and the top half of the cake with the remaining white buttercream. Use an offset spatula to smooth the frosting around the cake completely.
  • Use tweezers to carefully apply a small tear of gold leaf at the border where the green and white buttercream meet. As you place the gold leaf on the cake, the gold leaf will wrinkle to give the cake the kintsugi effect. Continue tracing the border of the two colors with gold leaf until complete.