I do not, ever, know how to leave something well alone, especially when it comes to the kitchen. This year for the holidays, I decided that I would bake a Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll for Christmas Eve with L’s family, and easy eggnog muffins (recipe still to come) – both to be made the morning of Christmas Eve. So what do I do, but wake up, bake the cake roll, get started on the muffins, and decide nearly immediately that I wasn’t satisfied. The muffins, which I decided to try baking in mini donut pans, just weren’t working out the way I had hoped and I worried that they wouldn’t be enough. So I did the only thing that any sane person would do – I spent the better part of an hour trying to pinpoint The Perfect (third) recipe to bake, made exclusively with ingredients on hand – because, you see, I at least had enough sense to decide that making a trip to a supermarket on Christmas Eve was not a wise choice.
In all of the thousands – literally thousands – of recipes that I keep bookmarked, none of them fit the bill. So I once again channeled the very sane person inside of me and decided to make up a cake. Just like that. Like I’m some professional baker.
To my credit, I didn’t forge on totally empty handed. I started with an eggless vanilla sponge cake recipe. Then, I substituted all of the yogurt for the leftover vegan eggnog I had, and since I was replacing plain yogurt with sweetened eggnog, I figured I didn’t need any sugar, either. I also decided that some of the flavoring should come from rum extract rather than straight-up vanilla. Oh, and I cut the amount of oil in half. Because I felt like it. Then, lastly, for la piece de resistance, I folded in a whole heck of a lot of white chocolate peppermint M&M’s, because I had a container of them, and I didn’t really like snacking on them by themselves, so therefore they would make a great addition to my cake. When it came out of the oven I poured over it some hodge-podge glaze I made (in the same bowl I had made the white chocolate peppermint buttercream for the Chocolate Peppermint Cake Roll), with white chocolate, powdered sugar, and, you guessed it, more eggnog.
And you know what? It was absolutely, downright, wonderfully delicious! It was actually L’s favorite dessert of the holiday season. The peppermint flavor comes through very prominently, with eggnog adding mostly to the sweetness rather than the outright flavor profile of the cake. I only ran into two snags – first, I decided that I didn’t need wax paper or parchment to line the bottom of the cake tin (the original recipe didn’t say to), and then the m&ms sank to the bottom and, you guessed it, stuck like crazy (I just patched it all together, made that the bottom of the cake, and threw the glaze on top – no one could tell); second, we nestled the cake securely in the back seat for safe travels after it sat out at “room temperature” in a hot-from-cooking kitchen for 30 minutes, only to realize several minutes later that the back seat was tilted backwards and most of the glaze slid right off the cake. So if you’re just a little more cautious than I was, you should have no trouble – just a very refreshing, surprisingly successful Eggless White Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog Sponge Cake.
|Sorry I never got a nice picture of a slice of this bad boy - I have a sliver in the freezer that you may be able to convince me to remove, photograph, and update this page with.|
One Year Ago: Individual Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes
Two Years Ago: Roasted Turbot in a Tomato Masala Sauce
White Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog Sponge Cake
This cake is humble in appearance – relatively thin and unadorned – yet it has these gorgeous swirls of red and white from the melted m&ms, and is full of delightfully surprising flavors. It will be the sleeper hit of the party even up against the most elaborate buche de noel.
Yield: 1 9-inch cake, 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
1 ½ cups (vegan) Eggnog
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon rum extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white chocolate peppermint m&ms1
1 ¾ ounces white chocolate (half of a Milka bar)
2 tablespoons eggnog
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
Combine the eggnog with the baking soda and powder and set aside for five minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with wax or parchment paper; set aside.
Whisk the oil and both extracts into the eggnog mixture, then sift and fold in the flour. Fold in the white chocolate peppermint m&ms. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let the cake cool in the pan for ten minutes before running a knife around the edges and transferring cake out of the pan to a cooling rack. Remove the wax or parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Melt the white chocolate and eggnog in a double boiler system set over low heat, stirring frequently. When the chocolate has fully melted, remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar. Pour the glaze over the cake, cover, and store in the refrigerator flat until ready to serve.
Source, adapted: Edible Garden
1I’m not sure how readily available white chocolate peppermint m&ms will be in winter seasons to come, so if you have trouble locating them, I would imagine that any form of white chocolate peppermint would do. I would only caution you to read labels if you care about certain ingredients, as many white chocolate products contain hydrogenated oils.