There have been times through out my life that I have often wondered what happened to people who used to be a part of my life. What is my best friend from High School doing? Or maybe the first boy I kissed? Things like that. It’s not so much that I think we will become BFF’s again, it’s that it’s just nice knowing how things have turned out for that person.
I mean I am quite sure that anyone who knew me 20 years ago would never have thought that I would be running a food blog (me included). Or that I taught math and physical sciences. I’m pretty sure back then I wanted to be a High School Spanish teacher (too bad I remember almost none of it…which is really sad since it was one of my minors in undergrad). Then I went into college wanting to be a forest ranger. Too bad I am allergic to pretty much every tree and bush out there. Not only did I want to do forestry I wanted to be in charge of a fish hatchery.
Thankfully the Internet has many, many avenues that help you to get in touch with those you have often wondered about over the years. I’ve been able to get in touch with quite a few of the ones that I have thought about. It’s been a hoot to see how they have turned out and some of the amazing accomplishments that they have done. Some are doing exactly what I pictured them doing all those years ago and some have down right surprised me, mostly in a good way. Though one turned out to have a porn star past (oh my!), but to each it’s own and it is how they paid for graduate school.
I think the holidays for some reason make people think about the ones in their lives even more. Some people are lonely and have no one around the holidays and that makes me truly sad, for everyone should have someone for the holidays. My mother always picks up the strays around her town and brings them in for the holidays. I don’t have any strays (luckily everyone around here that I know has family) but if I did, I would as well. If you have a stray, I suggest inviting them to be part of your holiday festivities. It’s a nice thing to do.
I’m still bogged down around here. My Google Reader has over 300 things for me to read. AHHH. The dƒ©cor is up and festive baking has become. Just don’t ask me about Christmas cards.
Part of that festive baking was this Chocolate-Mint Cake. It’s like a giant Peppermint Patty in cake form. It’s one of the many desserts I will be hauling to pot lucks in the coming weeks. If you are a chocolate mint fan, this cake is for you.

Chocolate-Mint Cake

1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 ounces light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peppermint Frosting
Chocolate Ganache

Melt chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at high for 30 second intervals until melted (about 1 ½ minutes). Stir until soft.
Beat softened butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer about 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla, Spoon batter evenly into 2 greased and floured 10-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread peppermint frosting evenly between cake layers. Spread Chocolate Ganache evenly on top and sides of cake.

Peppermint Frosting:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 ounces powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
¼ tsp peppermint oil (not extract, oil!)

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in peppermint oil.

Chocolate Ganache
12 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
1 ½  cups whipping cream
3 TBSP unsalted butter

Microwave semisweet chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2 qt microwave safe bowl at medium power 2 1/2-3 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until chocolate melt and mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter, let stand for 20 minutes.
Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 to 4 minutes or until soft peaks form.

Source: Southern Living Christmas Cookbook


  1. choc. and mint are great together and I am not sure if i would share something like this with my own family let alone strays lol! seriously i too think often about those people who were a part of my life all the way back when …

  2. A delightful combo!



  3. Have you seen the inside out Junior Mints? They’re peppermint on the outside, chocolate on the inside. They’re even better frozen.

  4. Oh, yeah I forgot to tell you, but Paula Deen has a new recipe out for Red Velvet bread pudding. And it looks yum!

  5. I actually made the mistake of spying on old classmates non-anonymously, hee hee :) Though I doubt any of them would turn out to be porn stars!
    You know me, I love a good layer cake… Especially chocolate, yum! :)

  6. Love this cake!

    I still am best friends with my BF from HS and I’ve been out of school 27 years! OMG that makes me sound so old!

  7. P, the cake looks delish…I love the chocolate-mint combo.

    I too think of my past acquaintances quite often, actually.

  8. A porn star past?? Eek!! And blech, haha ;-)

    Hang in there with the busyness, Peabody!!

    Lovely cake.

  9. I’ve been thinking I should see if there are any reunions from my high school days or my nursing school days.
    I’ll start looking for my stray today!

  10. This is why I love Facebook! Over the past year I’ve really seen it branch out to older generations and been a great tool for people to communicate on. My aunt even has a page! It’s fun to see how life is turning out for people.

  11. Thanks for the recipe…I love anything with chocolate and mint is a bonus!!!

  12. Isn’t it weird to think how people kept in touch with out the great and wonderful internet? But I have a question for you…can I be a permanent house guest? Every time I see your posts my mouth drools and my tummy rumbels!

  13. I have this cookbook and I’ve been wanting to make this cake too! It looks fabulous. I love chocolate and mint together.

  14. One of my favorite combinations.

    At my annual physical, the doc’s assistant for my pap smear was a high school classmate. I’m all naked and vulnerable, and she’s saying, “You make cakes? I always thought you’d be a doctor.” Oh, yeah.

  15. This looks really similar to a cake I made for a family celebration in the spring. It was to die for – and this looks to die for, too!

  16. Peabody, I am serious…I am coming to live with you! I will do light cleaning, will draw cupcakes upon whatever whim you have, but please, please, just feed me cakes!

  17. Amazingly done. Chocolate & mint is heaven in my mouth!

  18. This cakes looks soooo good! I adore peppermint and chocolate!

  19. I’ve been taking home strays at Christmas time for years now. My parents never knew who was going to show up for dinner. That cake looks amazing.

  20. I so very much want to make and eat this cake right now.
    Being a porn star to pay off grad school is a creative idea, except I like eating things like this cake too much for anyone to pay for me to take my clothes off! :)

  21. We must have been thinking alike with the holiday chocolate mint cake idea! Except I revived the DB crepe cake of terror… (smile)

    It is fun to look back and see what everyone (including oneself) ends up doing. I’m not old enough to get a good picture of it yet, but even now I can’t believe where I’ve eneded up.

    Good luck getting through your reader!

  22. Chocolate and mint is my FAVORITE COMBINATION EVER! (Next to chocolate and peanut butter, natch) That cake looks gorgeous. We’ll all miss you at TWD, but I’ll always come on over and see what gorgeous things you are cooking up!

  23. I like looking up old boyfriends and hoping they’re failures ;-)

  24. The cake is fabulous!!

  25. Stumbled upon your site. I love your writing before you introduce your latest make. Easy to read and fun! and makes me laugh!

    Keep up the great, awesome job!

  26. Chocolate and mint is a love-it-or-hate-it combination, and I love it! Wish you were going to some of the potlucks in my neighborhood.

  27. The cake looks great! I was laughing at your career ambitions as a child and it reminded me of all of mine…from wanting to be a computer teacher, math teacher, history teacher and then all of a sudden a location manager for filming? Random LOL… I’m none of these, but I like where I am. :) Thanks for sharing!

  28. Ooohhh chocolate and mint…they just go toghter so well. Lovely cake Peabody!

  29. What a rocking combination…& gleeful thanks are always out from me too to the load-bearing Google Reader (how does it take the stress?). Thanks for the trip down memory lane; took me back many years too!

  30. Mm, we’re definitely on the same page with chocolate and mint, Peabody!

    I agree though, the holidays do force you to examine the state of your life for one reason or another… That’s why I like to keep busy, so it doesn’t get to me so much.

  31. MMM mint and chocolate is my second favorite. Second only to raspberry and chocolate…

  32. What a gorgeous cake!! I’ve recently caught up with some old friends and it’s been so much fun sharing stories. None of us are really doing what we thought we would!

  33. This definitely looks like Christmas!!

  34. giant peppermint patty?! mmmmm

    if only i could get my layer cakes to look so pretty. i can hardly slice them straight once they’re put together, let alone put together a nice looking one ;)

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