Magic is not only on the air this holiday season but also in this cake. Layers of peppermint swirls are an exciting surprise snuggled under a blanket of fluffy whipped white chocolate ganache frosting. As in a dream, candy canes dance across twinkling stars amidst the cloud like peaks of this Whoville holiday treat. This stunning dessert will please young and old alike and certainly make a fabulous center piece for any holiday gathering.
To prepare a Candy Cane Cake:
Cooks note: This cake was made using a basic white cake recipe, then poured into pans the using the same technique as for a Zebra cake.
- 2 cups all-purpose
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup milk
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350° F. Butter two 8″ round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper (trace around the outside of the pan with a pencil).
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, sift together by mixing with a whisk. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very soft and light. Beat in the vanilla.
Whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand in a medium mixing bowl until just combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in one-quarter of the flour mixture, then one-third of the milk mixture, stopping and scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition. Beat in another quarter of the flour, then another third of the milk mixture. Scrape again. Repeat with another quarter of the flour and the remaining milk mixture; scrape. Finally, beat in the remaining flour mixture.
Pour the batter into two mixing bowl dividing it evenly. Add 6 – 8 drops of peppermint oil to one half, and 5 – 6 drops of red gel paste to the other. Using a quarter cup scoop for each half of the batter, place a scoop of the white batter in the center of each pan. Drop a scoop of the red into the center of the white batter. Alternate between the two colors dropping the batter into the center of the last color until all the batter is gone. Don’t worry if it is not exact. Lightly tap the pans on the counter to help the batter even out.
Bake the layers for about 30 to 35 minutes, until they are well risen and firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool the layers in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to completely cool.
To prepare White Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
- 10 ounces white chocolate pieces
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 teaspoon meringue powder
Place chocolate pieces in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan until it just begins to boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and slowly mix (the heat from the cream will melt the chocolate). When the mixture becomes smooth and creamy add the butter and mix well. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature (you can speed up this process by placing the ganache in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes). When the chocolate mixture is room temperature place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On low-speed add the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time. Add the meringue powder. Increase the speed of the mixer to high, and whip for 5 to 8 minutes, or until stiff peaks form (Frosting will double in volume and take on a silky appearance).
To assemble your cake:
Level the tops of the cakes if needed with a sharp knife by slicing off the “hump” in the center. Spread a layer of frosting on top of both layers. Put a small dab of frosting on the center of your cake circle or plate (this will prevent sliding) and place the first layer over it. Turn the second layer over and place it frosting side down on top of the first to create a sandwich. Using a gentle twisting motion shift the top layer to make sure the two are evenly stacked and the top of the cake is level.
Cover the top of the cake with a layer frosting.
Frost the sides of the cake. Once the entire cake is covered with an even layer, use the tip of your knife add peaks and swirls (When ganache frosting dries is chocolate and dries with a thin hard shell, so make sure to work in all the swirls you want before it sets, do not try to go back into the frosting with your knife once it is set up).