April 16, 2015
The cake is soft, moist, decadently chocolaty, and perfectly pepperminty. The ganache is fudgy, silky, smooth, wonderfully thick and rich.
Add coffee, cocoa powder, and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps. Alternatively use a handheld electric mixer to quickly break up cocoa lumps. Note about coffee - The coffee does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake. Rather, it brings out and enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; I highly recommend coffee but use water if you must. The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg.
Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula if necessary, and bake for about 25 to 32 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. I've found that climate and brands of ingredients used impact the baking time for this cake greatly, and have baked it in as short as 25 minutes and as long as 32; bake until it's done in your oven.
Allow ganache to set up and cool for about 5 minutes while you chop the peppermint candies. If you add them while ganache is too warm, they'll melt. Too cool, and they won't adhere; use your judgment.
Allow cake to cool uncovered at room temp for at least 2 to 3 hours, or until ganache has set up, before slicing and serving. I am comfortable storing this cake airtight at room temp for a day or two, and after that I store airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week. Chilling it has a nice effect with the chocolate and peppermint.