This Christmas peek-a-boo cake is a family recipe worth sharing

Photos by Collin Richie

We all have that family recipe we try to impress our family and friends with during the holidays. Maybe it’s a perfectly spiced pumpkin pie, or a casserole cooked to the ideal crisp. For grandmother of 11 and retired East Baton Rouge Public Schools educator Dawn Brumfeld, though, holiday cooking just isn’t complete without the help of her grandson Luke. In this recipe below, we break down the three-step process behind their famous Chocolate Mint Christmas Peek-a-Boo Cake. Click here to read the full story about Brumfeld and Luke’s baking tradition from inRegister’s December issue.


Green Christmas Trees:
Ingredients:
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp. water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a little extra for pan
1 1⁄3 cups extra fine granulated sugar* 11⁄2 tsp. peppermint extract
1⁄2  tsp. green food coloring
1⁄2  tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and cover with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit pan with a little excess overhang for easy removal from pan. (Butter keeps the parchment in place.)
Whisk together eggs, egg yolks and water and let stand at room temperature until needed.
Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft and creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes, scraping bowl once or twice. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly pour in egg mixture, along with peppermint extract and green food coloring. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. With mixer on low speed, mix in salt, baking powder and 1⁄2 cup flour. Scrape bowl and mix in remaining 1 cup flour in 1⁄2-cup increments, mixing on low just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until a wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 65 to 75 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool for 45 minutes.
Cut green cake into 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch-thick slices. Cut out 12 trees using a small Christmas tree cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches long). Place trees in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes while preparing Chocolate Pound Cake batter.
*Blend granulated sugar in a food processor to make extra fine sugar. Measure after blending.

Chocolate Pound Cake:
Ingredients:
3⁄4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 oz. (1⁄4 cup) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1⁄3 cup water
11⁄2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus a little extra for pan
1 cup extra fine granulated sugar*
1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature 1 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and cover with a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit pan with a little excess overhang for easy removal from pan.
Spoon cocoa powder into a medium-size bowl. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top. Bring the water to a boil, then pour over chocolate mixture. Cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Stir in pepper- mint extract (mixture will be a thick paste). Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add butter, extra fine sugar and brown sugar, and beat
on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer running on medium, add eggs 1 at
a time until each is fully combined. Add salt and 1⁄3 cup flour, and mix on low to combine. Scrape bowl and
add remaining 2⁄3 cup flour in 1⁄3-cup increments.
Pour about 1⁄4 of batter into prepared pan, and smooth out in a thin layer. Run a spoon down center of batter in pan to create a well.
Remove green trees from freezer and arrange standing in a row down center of pan in the well, pressing flat sides of each tree up next to each other, but leaving enough room at either end of pan for some cake batter. Pour remaining cake batter around and over top of trees. Bake at 325 degrees until a wood skewer inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and set on a wire rack to cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Chocolate Glaze
Ingredients:
2  oz. (1⁄4 cup) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3  Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
Red, white and green sprinkles for garnish (optional)
Stir mini chocolate chips together with cream in a small microwavable bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds.
Stir until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth. Let cool a few minutes to thicken slightly so glaze will adhere to cake without completely running off. Pour glaze over top of cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. To serve, cut to reveal Christmas trees hiding inside.