Herb of the Month “Peppermint”

Peppermint is an herb that grows to 1-3 feet tall. Like other varieties of mint, it can be very aggressive. It will easily take over your garden if given the opportunity. It’s best to grow it in a container. Peppermint is highly aromatic. Peppermint’s Aromatic properties help relieve a stuffy nose and break up congestion. Taking 3 deep breaths of peppermint oil can relieve headaches immediately.

Peppermint is valuable for a wide variety of medicinal uses: relieves digestive problems, soothes muscles and the lining of the colon, and relieves headaches and colds. When taken internally peppermint may relive pain of both chronic and acute inflammations in the intestinal walls and relieve diarrhea, gas, and nausea.

Peppermint may also counteract nerve pain, migraine, and inflammation in the gums. Despite peppermint’s vast uses medicinally, it has culinary uses as well. Peppermint is most commonly found in teas, candies, and is used as a garnish.
Try this delicious recipe and see for yourself.

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Cake

Servings/Makes: 16
Ready in 1-2 Hours

Ingredients:
CAKE:1 package (1 lb 2.25oz) devils food cake mix, such as Duncan Hines
2 cups sour cream
2/3 cup oil, preferably canola
3 eggs
2 tablespoons peppermint liqueur, such as Peppermint Schnapps, or water
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

FILLING & FROSTING: 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cans (16 oz ea) milk chocolate frosting.
Mini chocolate covered peppermint cream candies, such as Peppermint Patties, quartered, optional

Directions:
CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour 2-8 inch round cake pans. In bowl at low speed, beat cake mix with sour cream, oil, eggs and liqueur until just combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter between pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on racks 10 minutes remove from pans; cool completely.

FILLING: In bowl with mixer on medium speed beat batter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, 2 Tbsp water and peppermint extract. Beat until fluffy, about
2 minutes; refrigerate until ready to use.

ASSEMBLY: Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top and side with frosting. Garnish with peppermint candies, if desired.

Recipe provided by: http://www.cdkitchen.com

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