“That cake is evil,” my father-in-law declared upon taking a bite of this sinfully rich Gluten-Free Peppermint Pattie Cake. His comments pleased me immensely, in part because my nickname at work used to be “Evil Eve.”
In our house, we love desserts. We’re always looking out for gluten-free desserts that friends will gobble down. This special-occasion cake is decadently fudgy, almost like a flourless chocolate cake. Trust me: no gluten-eater would ever turn up their nose at this baby.
When you bite into this Gluten-Free Peppermint Pattie Cake, you’ll get the sensation of gale-force winter winds whipping through your hair … oops, that was the ’80s TV commercial, I digress …
The cake is adapted from a recipe in a book my mother-in-law checked out from the library. She often brings library books for my kids. This time she got one for me: “All Cakes Considered: A year’s worth of weekly recipes tested, tasted and approved by the staff of NPR’s All Things Considered” by Melissa Gray. It’s a fun read for an NPR devotee, full of tempting recipes, entertaining anecdotes and fun references to NPR stars like Carl Kassel.
Of course, I decided to bake the most dense, chocolaty cake in the book.
Gray’s original recipe is even more decadent. She instructs readers to bake the cake, make a chocolate ganache for the frosting and then drizzle each slice with homemade mint syrup and homemade chocolate fudge sauce.
That was way too much work for me, so I ditched the ganache, mint syrup and chocolate fudge sauce. Believe me, this cake is still a lot of work, even without all those toppings. To give the cake a minty kick, I used melted peppermint patties for the frosting. Get the sensation.
Gluten-Free Peppermint Pattie Cake
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca starch)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 14 ounces (about 3 1/4 cups) dark chocolate (70% cacao)
- 6 ounces peppermint pattie candies (about 12 small candies)
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces peppermint pattie candies (about 25 small candies)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Spray the paper and sides of the pan with cooking oil. (Make sure your cooking oil spray does not contain flour!)
- Whisk the gluten-free flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Over low heat, melt butter with cream. Add chocolate and stir constantly until smooth — make sure chocolate doesn’t burn. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- Chop the peppermint patties into small pieces on a cutting board lightly dusted with gluten-free flour. Separate pieces so they don’t clump together; set aside.
- Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on medium-high speed, gradually adding the sugar. Beat for 5 minutes, until mixture is light yellow and very thick. Slow mixer down and add the melted chocolate mixture, beating until blended.
- Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle or regular beaters. Add the flour to the mixture in thirds, mixing after each addition until blended. Mix in the vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a scrupulously clean mixing bowl with a clean, dry whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed to medium-soft peaks. (Any trace of oil or yolks in the mixing bowl will defeat your whites.)
- Using a spatula, gently fold a third of the egg whites at a time into the chocolate mixture, until just combined. Scatter peppermint patties into batter, so they’re well-distributed and fold them in.
- Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes on cake rack. Remove sides from springform pan and let cake sit until completely cooled. If the top of the cake is domed (and I’m sure it will be), you will need to level it. To do this, get at eye level with the cooled cake. Take a serrated bread knife and horizontally slice off any domed section so the top is flat. Don’t obsess about it; just do the best you can.
- You will now need to invert the cake onto a serving plate. Place the serving plate on top of the cake, and holding the cake and the plate together with two hands, flip them upside down, so the bottom of the cake is now the top. Remove the springform pan’s bottom disk and the parchment paper.
- To prepare the frosting, melt the peppermint patties in a microwave for 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of water, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir till smooth. Using a spatula, spread the frosting on the top and sides of the cooled cake. Garnish with any leftover peppermint patties.
Yield: 15 to 20 thinly sliced servings
Note: If you are not gluten-free, you can make this cake by using 1 cup all-purpose flour and omitting the xanthan gum.