Sweet Treat for St. Patty’s

Sophie Piller, Writer

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Each year on March 17, the citizens of Ireland along with the Irish-at-heart across the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With approximately 34.7 million citizens with Irish ancestry in the U.S., this holiday is celebrated with Irish parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Beginning as a religious feasting day for the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into the beloved holiday that is celebrated by so many today. Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the saint of Ireland as well as the national apostle.  The shamrock, most widely associated with St. Patrick’s Day, became a popular symbol after Saint Patrick used the three leaves of a clover to explain the Holy Trinity, known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

The meaning of this popular holiday can be widely interpreted, as some favor, it’s religious significance while others prefer to share their national pride for Ireland.  Regardless of the differing views, most people celebrate this holiday in a similar fashion, bringing a group of friends together to share stories, laughs, and a traditional Irish meal.  This year, don’t hesitate to gather a group of friends together while impressing them with this delicious mint chocolate cake.  The green icing and shamrock add a festive touch to a classic chocolate cake.  

Ingredients

        Cake:

        2 cups white sugar

        1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

        1 cup unsweetened, Dutch process cocoa powder

        1 1/2 tsp baking powder

        1 1/2 tsp baking soda

        1 teaspoon salt

        2 eggs

        1 cup milk

        1/2 cup vegetable oil

        2 tsp vanilla extract

        3/4 cup boiling water

       

        Frosting:

        2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, slightly softened

        1/3 cup heavy cream

        2 tsp mint extract

        1 tsp vanilla extract

        Drop or two of green food coloring

        4 cups powdered sugar

2 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 eight or nine-inch pans.
  2.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until fully combined. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then slowly stir in the boiling water. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the tops of cakes spring back when you lightly touch them in the center.
  3.  Remove cakes from oven. Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove to finish cooling on wire racks.
  4.  Prepare frosting: In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, cream, mint and vanilla extracts on medium speed until smooth. With mixer speed on low, slowly add powdered sugar and mix until just combined. Add food coloring and increase speed to medium-high and beat for about a minute, or until the frosting is light, smooth, and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add another Tablespoon or two of cream and beat for 30 more seconds. Add chopped chocolate and mix on low until incorporated. Frost cooled cake. Use green icing tube from the store to create a shamrock design.

Notes

Refrigerate cake until you are ready to serve it.

Do not substitute chocolate chips for chopped chocolate in the frosting — it will make the cake very difficult to frost. I used bakers chocolate, but feel free to use your favorite dark chocolate bar.

To make frosting the cake easier, wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and/or refrigerate for an hour or two before frosting. It will make the cakes more firm, which is easier for handling. It also makes your cakes moister.

Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day Sea Kings and remember to sweeten your day with this delicious and festive recipe!

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Sweet Treat for St. Patty’s