Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of the pans with non-stick baking spray. Dust the bottom and sides with granulated sugar (or grease the bottom and sides of the pans with butter and dust with flour).
In a small bowl or pan, dissolve the cocoa in the boiling water; set aside to cool.
In a large bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the cocoa mixture, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, and sour cream. Slowly fold in the flour and mix all together well; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at a high speed until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Do not beat the egg whites until ready to fold into the cake or over beat as the air will fall. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter without breaking the air of the whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Prepare the Peppermint Whipped Cream. Cover the cooled cake with the prepared Peppermint Whipped Cream.
To make an easy decoration, scrape the edge of a serrated knife across the top of the whipped cream in the pattern of your choice. Place a cookie cutter in the middle of the cake. Fill the cookie cutter with some of the crushed peppermint. Carefully lift the cutter off the cake. Sprinkle the top edges of the cake with the remaining crushed peppermint.
Peppermint Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
Optional: Heart-shape cookie cutters or shape of your choice.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candy. Beat until stiff peaks for. Do not overbeat or it will turn to butter.
TEA TRAVELS™ - Wishing You Happy TEA TRAVELS!™ Tea is the luxury everyone can afford!™ and Good $ense for $uccess are the trademarked property of Ellen Easton/ RED WAGON PRESS
Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions (RED WAGON PRESS), a lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included The Waldorf=Astoria and Plaza Hotels. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.
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AFTERNOON TEA...TIPS,TERMS and TRADITIONS
72 pages of how to’s, 27 photos, history, etiquette and FAQ about afternoon tea, serving styles and more. “Tea is the luxury everyone can afford!™”
TEA TRAVELS™ - FOR THE HOLIDAYS
64 pages, 21 color photos. A complete holiday menu includes 25 easy to prepare recipes; theme teas, decorating & gift ideas; invitation template and secret sources.