The Grasshopper, Made with Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao, and Heavy Cream, is a Neon-Green Cocktail with no particular noteworthiness other than its color and the fact that it’s the only cocktail we know of that features one of the all-time great flavor pairings, chocolate and mint. Hence our almost unreasonable fixation with the drink. At one point, probably in the 1950s, this drink evolved into a strange and boozy pie, and we decided to develop that incarnation into a delicious cake.
In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachments, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy and ribbon-like, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Add the crème de menthe and peppermint extract and mix until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, then mix again.
If you’re using the cookies, use a pastry bag or a large spoon to spread
Leave the remaining buttercream at room temperature while you make the ganache.
Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the cream sit for 2 minutes, then, starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and cream mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the crème de menthe and peppermint extract and stir until combined. Whisk for another few minutes to cool the ganache slightly, then let the ganache come to room temperature, about 15 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface. Use an offset spatula to spread about
This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature (cool and humidity free) for up to 3 days. If your room is not cool, place the cake in a cake saver and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.