This recipe was part of the Food Fight: Holiday Desserts Challenge which ended Nov 6, 2009 04:00 PM.
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Peppermint Brownie Torte with Peppermint Buttercream and Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Difficulty: Medium | Total Time: 1 hr. 20 mins. | Active Time: | Makes: 10 servings

My husband loves the combination of chocolate and mint, and I wanted to make him a special dessert that featured these two flavors. I’ve put frosting on brownies in the past to dress them up a bit, and I thought that topping brownies with a peppermint buttercream would be delicious. Deciding to cover the buttercream with a fudgy chocolate frosting took the dessert to another level and reminded me a lot of peppermint patties. My husband loved the brownies and has requested them many times since I first made them almost four years ago. I usually bake the brownies in a 9×9 pan, but for a more formal presentation, I use a 9-inch springform pan and cut the brownie into wedges. The decadent richness, peppermint flavor, and attractive appearance of the torte (with the contrasting layers of fudgy brownie, creamy white buttercream, and chocolate frosting) make it a wonderful dessert for the holidays; sprinkling finely crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate frosting adds another festive element.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. peppermint extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the peppermint buttercream

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1/4 t. peppermint extract

For the chocolate frosting

  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. For brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugars, salt, and extracts thoroughly, then remove pan from heat.
  3. Whisk in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour and cocoa powder just until combined; do not overmix.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs but not coated in batter; do not overbake. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack.
  5. For the peppermint frosting: In a medium bowl, beat together 1 cup of powdered sugar and butter with an electric mixer until smooth and well-blended.
  6. Slowly incorporate another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar; add the milk and peppermint extract and mix until smooth, about a minute. Frosting should be spreadable, but thick enough to support the chocolate frosting; add additional powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time if needed to reach appropriate consistency.
  7. Spread buttercream over cooled brownies.
  8. For the chocolate frosting: In a small saucepan, bring milk and butter to a boil.
  9. Place both the chocolates in a medium bowl; once the milk and butter mixture have come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add vanilla extract to chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
  11. Using an electric mixer, beat powdered sugar into chocolate mixture until smooth. Spread frosting over peppermint buttercream frosting.
  12. Refrigerate torte for at least an hour before serving to allow the frosting to set. Torte will keep in the fridge for 5 days, covered.

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