3 Peppermint Desserts to Make for Festive Holiday Celebrations

Nothing says the holidays like peppermint and these three luscious desserts have peppermint in spades! The Peppermint Spiral is a layered dessert topped off with a chocolate roulade cake; the Peppermint Cake is a layer cake with peppermint buttercream frosting; and the Poet Glasses feature colored mint mousses that alternate with rich ganache, all topped off with festive holiday peppermint decorations, of course!

Peppermint Trifle Poet Glasses Recipe

15 champagne flutes (6 oz size)

INGREDIENTS*

White chocolate cremeux (1 recipe)
Ganache (1/2 recipe)

*Recipes found below

Optional garnishes:
Vanilla whipped cream
Holiday peppermint decorations

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a glass of your choosing, pipe in the colored white chocolate cremeux, alternating with ganache in between the layers, ending with the ganache as the final layer.
  2. Decorate with fresh vanilla whipped cream and holiday peppermint decorations.

A slice of peppermint cake, white and red in color, sits on a plate next to two champagne glasses of red liquid.

Peppermint Cake Recipe

Makes 12-15 servings

INGREDIENTS*

White cake
Simple syrup
Italian peppermint buttercream
White fondant (source online or in specialty cake-making stores)

*Recipes found below

Optional garnishes:
Crystal sugar
Peppermints or fondant peppermint decorations

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Level off both cakes so they’re smooth, then soak them in the simple syrup.
  2. Cover each layer with the Italian peppermint buttercream, then chill 20 minutes.
  3. Stack the cakes, then cover in white fondant, rolled out to 1/8”.
  4. Brush the cakes with water, then coat the whole cake in crystal sugar. Decorate with peppermints or fondant peppermint decorations.

An aerial view of a peppermint dessert on a grey plate drizzled in chocolate and decorated with red and white candy

Peppermint Spiral Recipe

12 servings, if using 1 ½” x 4” molds
22-24 bite-size desserts, if using 1” x 2 ½” molds

INGREDIENTS/MATERIALS*

A spiral silicone mould (1 ½” diameter x 4” tall)
White chocolate cremeux
Mint chip cream (1/2 recipe)
Chocolate roulade (1/2 sheet pan)
Chocolate mint mirror glaze
Chocolate anglaise (1/2 recipe)

*Recipes found below

Optional garnishes:
Chocolate petals or other chocolate garnish (optional)
Chocolate cups
Colored mint sauces

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill a spiral silicone mold halfway up with white chocolate cremeux, then pipe mint chip cream in the center, more chocolate cremeux, then top with a chocolate roulade disc.
  2. Freeze overnight.
  3. On the day you’re serving the Peppermint Spiral, unmould the dessert, glaze it with the chocolate mint mirror glaze. Place it in the center of a serving plate.
  4. Garnish with white chocolate anglaise in chocolate cups then add chocolate petals.
Three dancers in red, blue, and white outfits
From left to right, Luke Mosher, Masahiro Haneji and Josiah Kauffman elevated our photo session with their athleticism.

Exuberant Peppermint: High-jumping dancer Masahiro Haneji puts some exuberant air between himself and the ground during this Russian-inflected passage of The Nutcracker. He and his colleagues bring athleticism and freshness to the choreography, and a smile to faces young and old–which is the same result the chefs at Nemacolin achieve in their minty holiday dessert creations. Of the several peppermint options they developed, we loved the look of their Peppermint Spiral.

White Chocolate Cremeux Recipe

Makes 3 quarts

INGREDIENTS

2 gelatin sheets
8.5 oz heavy cream
9 oz whole milk
5 egg yolks
1 oz granulated sugar
Mint essence, to taste
8 oz white chocolate, couverture
½ vanilla bean
Food-safe coloring gel (pink and red)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the gelatine in a bowl, add water, and allow to bloom.
  2. Place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Whisk together the yolks and sugar and temper into the eggs. Return to the heat and gently bring to a low simmer.
  4. Strain into a bowl, add the bloomed gelatine, mint essence, chocolate, and vanilla. Blend well.
  5. If using the food gel for the Peppermint Trifle Poet Glasses, divide the cremeux into three bowls, leaving one white, dying another pink and the third red.
  6. Place plastic wrap over the surface so a skin doesn’t form and chill overnight.

Note: You can experiment with dark or milk chocolate couverture instead of white.

Mint Chip Cream Recipe

Makes 3 quarts

INGREDIENTS

2 gelatin sheets
8.5 oz heavy cream
9 oz whole milk
5 egg yolks
1 oz granulated sugar
Mint essence, to taste
.7 oz chopped white chocolate chips
8 oz white chocolate, couverture
½ vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the gelatin in a bowl, add water, and allow to bloom.
  2. Place the cream and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Whisk together the yolks and sugar and temper into the eggs. Return to the heat and gently bring to a low simmer.
  4. Strain into a bowl, add the bloomed gelatine, mint essence, chocolate chips, chocolate, and vanilla. Blend well.
  5. Place plastic wrap over the surface so a skin doesn’t form and chill overnight.

Chocolate Roulade Recipe

Makes 2-24”x19” cakes

INGREDIENTS

31 oz egg whites
24 oz granulated sugar
36 oz egg yolks
12 oz cake flour, sifted
3.5 oz cocoa powder, sifted

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray and line two 24×19” sheet pans.
  3. In a bowl, whip the egg whites with 1/3 of the sugar to a medium peak.
  4. In a second bowl, whip the yolks with the remaining sugar to the ribbon stage.
  5. Fold in the sifted flour and cocoa into the yolk mixture.
  6. Fold the whipped egg whites into the yolks.
  7. Divide the batter between the two sheet pans and bake for 5-7 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.

Mint Mirror Glaze Recipe

Makes 2 ½ quarts

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ oz gelatin powder
8.5 oz water #1
14 oz condensed milk
21 oz white chocolate, couverture
10.5 oz water #2
21 oz granulated sugar
21 oz glucose
½ tsp mint essence

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the gelatin in water #1 and allow to bloom. Microwave in short :5-:10 second bursts until dissolved. Put the bloomed gelatine in a separate bowl with the condensed milk with the chocolate.
  2. In a saucepan, cook water #2, sugar, and glucose until the mixture reaches 220 degrees, then pour over the gelatin, condensed milk and chocolate mixture. Mix well and store in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The next day, when ready to use, heat to 105 degrees and use at 85-95 degrees.

Chocolate Anglaise Recipe

Makes 1 quart

INGREDIENTS

34 oz heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and vanilla bean seeds scraped out
3 oz honey
11.25 oz egg yolks
3 oz granulated sugar
2 oz cocoa powder, sifted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring the heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and honey to a boil.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, then temper in the hot cream. Cook the mixture until thick.
  3. Strain the anglaise into a bowl and stir in the lemon zest. Cool in an ice bath.

White Cake Recipe

Makes 2-8” cakes*

INGREDIENTS

1 lb 8 oz cake flour, sifted
1.5 oz baking powder, sifted
½ oz salt
12 oz shortening
1 lb 14 oz granulated sugar
12 oz skim milk #1
¾ tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
12 oz skim milk #2
1 lbs egg whites
Red colouring gel, to taste
2-8” greased and lined cake tins

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt and shortening. Crumble together until the shortening is pea-sized.
  3. Add sugar, skim milk #1, vanilla and almond extracts to the flour mixture. Mix until creamy and smooth. Slowly add skim milk #2 and the egg whites while mixing. Scrape down the bowl as needed, mixing for five minutes.
  4. Divide the batter into two medium-sized mixing bowls, colouring one with red gel and leaving the other one white.
  5. Place the red batter in one cake tin, and the white in the other.
  6. Bake the cakes for 12-15 minutes until the cake is slightly browned and is spongey and springy.
  7. Remove and allow to cool in the pans.

*If you’d like to make a four-layer cake as seen in the photos, double the recipe.

Simple Syrup Recipe

Makes 15 oz

INGREDIENTS

10 oz granulated sugar
5 oz water
1 split vanilla bean

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, ensuring the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: If you’d like to ramp up the peppermint taste, you can add a drop of peppermint essence to the simple syrup. But remember, a little goes a long way!

Italian Peppermint Buttercream Recipe

Makes 3 quarts

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs 8 oz granulated sugar
Water
3 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb 4 oz egg whites
3 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp peppermint essence

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the sugar in a large pan. Mix it with enough water to create a mixture with the consistency of wet sand.
  2. Heat the sugar and water until the mixture reaches 240 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until just barely holding soft peaks.
  4. Slowly add the hot sugar to the egg whites and whip until the mixture cools to room temperature.
  5. Add the butter in a pound at a time, whipping until the mixture has thickened and turned white and fluffy.

Ganache Recipe

Makes 4 quarts

INGREDIENTS

48 oz dark chocolate chips
48 oz heavy cream
12 oz unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  2. Bring the cream and butter to a boil. Pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a few minutes to melt then mix with a stick blender until smooth.

Recipes by Nemacolin Executive Pastry Sous Chef Isaac Ortiz Montalvo and Pastry Sous Chef Mary Mae Co Laskody / Story by Keith Recker / Portrait Photography by Jeff Swensen / Food Photography by Scott Goldsmith

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