November 30, 2010

Fudgy Peppermint Stick Torte

1-1/2 cups butter, softened
3-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups cold water
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup crushed peppermint candies, divided
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
Transfer to four greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream, then 3/4 cup crushed candies.
Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; top with one-fourth of filling. Repeat layers three times. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, sprinkle remaining candies over the top. Yield: 16 servings.
***FYI I have found when working with cake, especially when you are doing layers, it works out better if they are frozen before you try working with them or frosting them! :)
(recipe and picture courtsey of Taste of Home)

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