Guide to Eating Flowers: Chocolate Cake with Mint Flowers

| April/May 1998

Serves 12
Although I often make this delicious cake with ginger mint, other kinds of mint flowers can be used as well.

• Butter and flour for greasing cake pans
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
2/3 cup cocoa
• 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4   cup boiling water
1/2 cup ginger mint flowers, coarsely chopped (strip off the blossoms by ­running your fingers along the stem)
• 1 pint heavy (whipping) cream (optional)
• 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
• 1 pint raspberries (optional)
• Ginger mint flowers for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 10-inch cake pans.

2. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and boiling water. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. Beat for 1 minute with an electric mixer or 2 minutes by hand. Fold in the mint flowers. Place the batter in the pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.

3. For an elegant presentation, place one layer on a cake pedestal. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Stir in the sugar to sweeten it. Top the layer with half of the whipped cream. Space 12 raspberries on the edge of the cream so that you can see them when the second layer is gently placed on top. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the second layer. Garnish with raspberries and mint flowers.

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