1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups quartered chocolate-covered peppermint patties (about 16 (1 1/4-inch) patties)
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup crushed hard peppermint candy (about 11 pieces candy)*
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Spray bottom and sides of 9x2-inch round pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; spray parchment. Lightly flour parchment and sides of pan.
2. Put 1/2 cup butter and unsweetened chocolate in small heatproof bowl; place over saucepan of barely simmering water. Heat until smooth and melted, stirring frequently. Remove bowl from pan; cool slightly.
3. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed 1 minute or until light and well-blended. At low speed, beat in melted chocolate mixture until combined. Beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in peppermint patties. Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top with spatula. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Run knife around edge. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment. Cool completely. (Cake will sink slightly as it cools.) Turn cake right side up.
4. Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in large bowl. Heat cream, 2 tablespoons butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is hot, stirring occasionally. Pour over chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Stir until chocolate melts and glaze is smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
5. Pour glaze over cake; with back of spoon, spread quickly over top and sides. Let stand 30 minutes or until set. (Cake can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.) Before serving, sprinkle crushed candy over top of cake.
TIP *Use flat side of meat mallet to crush candy. Place crushed candy in fine strainer; shake to remove fine powder.