Fresh Mint Choc Chip Layer Cake

As I get older, I find myself looking back at halcyon days gone by. A child of the 80’s, climbing trees in jeans and plaid shirts, going to discos in lycra and leg warmers and eating wall’s Vienetta on hay days.


It was that crack that reverberated around your bowl as your spoon desecrated those fine layers of crisp dark chocolate, supported, but not enough, by that whiter than white mint ice cream, piped in pretentious ruffles. That my friends was how to end a dinner party in style.


So, as I guide my forthcoming recipe development, I am taking inspiration from my 80s childhood, expect some blasts from the past, reimagined for this cyber age we live in.


First, Vienetta Grew Up….

Ingredients:


Fresh Mint Choc Chip Layers:


230g Unsalted Butter, softened

400g Caster Sugar

10g Fresh Mint Leaves, picked

½ tsp Salt

400g Plain Flour

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs

300g Whole Milk

20g lemon Juice

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

200g Good Quality Dark Chocolate Chips


Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream


210g Egg White

400g Caster Sugar

450g Unsalted Butter, room temperature

2tbsp Crème de Menthe

½ tsp Salt


Fresh Flowers, Mint Leaves and Dark Chocolate to decorate


Method:


1. Preheat oven 160C fan and grease, line and flour 3 6” high sided baking tins. Set aside in the fridge.

2. Begin with the mint sugar. Add the mint leaves to a food processor and roughly chop. Add ¼ of the sugar and pulse to combine to a pale green sugar. Mix through the remaining sugar.

3. Place this sugar and the butter in the base of a stand mixer and mix on medium high using a paddle attachment until soft, pale, and fluffy. This will take at least 5 minutes. Remember to keep scraping down the sides to ensure you are not left with gritty patches.

4. Meanwhile mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Us e a whisk to ensure it is homogenous. Set aside.

5. Add the eggs, one by one to the butter mixture, beating well between each addition. Meanwhile mix the lemon juice with the milk and set aside.

6. Beat the mix on high for 30 seconds once the eggs have been added to aerate. Add half the buttermilk then half the flour mixture and beat until only just combined, do not overmix.

7. Repeat with the remaining buttermilk and flour mixture.

8. Finally fold through the chocolate chips. Weigh the mixture and divide equally between your three prepared tins.

9. Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

10. Meanwhile, for the buttercream, add the egg white, sugar and salt to the base of a stand mixer that is heatproof. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture feels hot to your finger. It should read about 72C on a thermometer.

11. Dry the base and beat, using the whisk attachment, just under high for about 8-10 minutes, or until you have a thick, glossy meringue.

12. Add the butter, little by little, until homogenous, the mixture will appear loose, but it will come back.

13. Finally add the crème de menthe and beat on medium low to combine.

14. Once the cakes are cold, use the buttercream to sandwich the layers together. Use the remaining buttercream for the top and sides.

15. Finally garnish with flowers, mint leaves, dark chocolate and lycra….