1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's), chopped
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 tablespoons whipping cream
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
White chocolate curls (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
Halved strawberries (optional)
Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square
metal cake pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour parchment
Stir chopped chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water
until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from over water.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually
add sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, blending well
after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Add flour
and cinnamon; beat just until blended. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan;
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs
attached, about 25 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack 20 minutes.
Run small knife between edge of cake and pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto
rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely.
Icing: Stir white chocolate and whipping cream in top of double boiler
set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Stir
in peppermint extract. Spread icing even over top of cake. Place cake in freezer
until icing is firm, about 30 minutes, or refrigerate cake 1 hour.
Glaze: Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Cool chocolate until lukewarm
but still pourable, about 5 minutes.
Place cake on rack set over top of cake. Spread glaze evenly over top and
sides of cake.
Freeze until glaze is set, about 10 minutes. If necessary, rewarm remaining
glaze just until pourable. Pour remaining glaze over cake; spread glaze smoothly
over top and sides of cake.
Refrigerate cake until glaze is firm, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day
ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
Let cake stand at room temperature at least 3 hours before serving.
Transfer brownie cake to platter.
Decorations: Top cake with chocolate curls and garnish
platter with mint sprigs and strawberries, if desired.