It’s like you’re at a bar. And it’s someone’s birthday. And, obviously, you want to go run over and say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, STRANGER AT THE BAR WITH ME!!!”, but in the process you trip. And spill your mojito all over their chocolate cake. (Because, you know, chocolate cakes at bars are so a thing these days.)
But, instead of getting angry, the person gets super excited.
Not only is it their birthday, but now their chocolate cake is a freaking chocolate-mint-rum cake.
You just made someone’s birthday rock even harder.
Yup, you’re a star.
I wanted to make a cake for a super wonderful person’s birthday. I had baker’s block (is that a thing?), and kept coming back to these incredibly weird flavour combinations with random sorts of odd legumes and vegetables.
The crux is, despite the birthday boy always liking my desserts, he is slightly more into the “traditional flavour spectrum”. Since it was HIS birthday, I decided to be considerate.
Mint chocolate was a suggested flavour when I asked about cakes, but that was just a tad too un-festive for me… then I thought, well shucks, what goes well with mint?
Rum goes well with mint.
And here we have it: the chocolate-mint-rum cake (also known as: le chocolojito).
There are three steps to this bad boy: cake, frosting, and rum sauce. That’s right. Rum sauce.
Step one: The chocolate cake layers
Chocolate Cake - What you need:
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed (250 grams)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 pack agar agar (4 grams)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup of hot brewed coffee
- 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rum (or, substitute a teaspoon of vanilla if you're going for an alcohol-free cake)
Chocolate cake - What you do:
Preheat the oven to 160 celsius. Prepare two cake pans by greasing them with margarine or butter, and applying a light flour coating.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend together the white beans and oil until completely smooth, for me this took around 5 minutes. If you need to scrape down the sides to get all the beans in - do it! You want a lump-free product after this.
Add the chopped chocolate into a bowl, and then cover it with the cup of hot coffee. Allow the mixture to melt together. Set it aside and prepare the wet batter.
Scrape the bean mixture into another large bowl. Beat in the apple sauce and agar agar powder. Beat in the two cups of sugar.
Stir the chocolate and coffee mixture so the chocolate is melted and distributed completely. Add this mix, plus the rum and vinegar to the oil/bean wet mixture. Beat all of the wet ingredients so that the batter is smooth and creamy.
Next, add the flour mixture into the wet mixture in three additions, stirring well after each one.
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake pans... make sure that there is an even amount of batter in each pan.
In the 160C oven, pop the cakes into the oven. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
After the cakes are finished, allow them to cool for 5 minutes, and then run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Turn them over onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Step two: Rum Sauce
This sauce comes from Smitten Kitchen. The only switch I made was using a light rum instead of a dark rum.
Rum sauce - What you need:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup hot brewed coffee
- 1/3 cup rum*
I used white rum, but the recipe recommends dark rum... it's up to you!
Rum sauce - What you do:
Dissolve the sugar in the coffee. After all the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture has cooled slightly, add the rum. Mix well.
With a brush, apply 2-3 coats of rum sauce to the cooled cakes. Allow the cakes to absorb the sauce after each addition.
Step three - Mint Chocolate Frosting
The frosting recipe comes from Raspberri Cupcakes.
Mint chocolate frosting - What you need:
- 280 grams margarine (for a vegan frosting), or butter, softened
- 500 grams confectioner's sugar
- 100 grams dark chocolate, very finely chopped
- 2-3 teaspoons peppermint essence (The original recipe calls for peppermint essence, but I didn't have any. Instead, I used mint syrup (about four tablespoons). It also fixed the problem of needing additional food colouring.)
Mint chocolate frosting - What you do:
Cream the margarine (or butter) until fluffy and smooth. Add the confectioner's sugar in 4 to 5 additions, beating well after each one. Once everything comes together nicely, add the essence or mint syrup. Again beat well. Add the chocolate last, and stir it well so it's evenly distributed.
Super! Now you just put everything together. The cake is already saturated in rum, so now it is just frosting and cake assembly time.
I am really trying to work on my frosting skills (my weakness in cake making), so I did a "crumb coat" to start. To apply a crumb coat, on the bottom layer, add a thick layer of frosting. Top it off with the other cake layer, then apply a thin layer of frosting all around the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes.
After the cake has been refrigerated, frost it completely.
So, We attempted to take some photos of the cake at the party... the lighting isn't too great, but here it is!
An obvious requisite: a birthday banner!
This chocolate cake recipe is my new go-to. It was so moist, so delicious, so perfect.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Something a little fun for the birthday celebrations!