Chocolate Mud Cake

One of my favourites and an almost fail proof recipe. Chocolate mud cake. If you don’t already have a go to recipe then this one is for you!

250g chocolate (125g dark chocolate and 125g milk chocolate)
250g butter
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules/powder
188ml (3/4 cup) water
325g (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) plain flour
30g (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
550g (2 1/2 cups) caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk

150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
84ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (not fan-forced). Grease the side and base of a deep 23cm or 24cm  round cake pan. Line base and side of the pan with non-stick baking paper, extending the paper a few centimeters above the top rim of the pan. Place 250g chocolate, butter, coffee and water in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. When chocolate and butter have melted, remove mixture from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm/room temperature. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a very large bowl. Add the caster sugar to the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir the ingredients together until well combined. In a medium bowl, place eggs, oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Whisk the wet ingredients together until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and flour mixture in a three batches, stirring until combined after each addition. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (24cm pan) or 1 hour and 30 minutes (23cm pan). Insert a thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer into the centre of the cake to test whether it is cooked through. If the knife/skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not gooey batter) attached, the cake is ready. Remove cake from oven, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to cool in the pan. When the cake has cooled to room temperature, remove it from the pan. Place chocolate and cream in a medium heavy-based saucepan over very low heat. Stir frequently, and remove from heat when chocolate has just melted and mixture is smooth. If necessary, allow the ganache to cool slightly at room temperature to obtain a spreadable consistency. Spread over cake and store in an airtight container in the fridge, serve at room temperature.

Worth every minute of the never ending hour and a half of cooking time. Whatever you do, don’t do what I did and whack this in the oven at 9pm. At 10.30 you’ll be wondering if it is all worth it. It is the next day once it is cooled and iced but when bed is calling it never seems like the best idea! I first made this cake for my little brother’s 18th a couple of years ago. It was demolished in one sitting by my family although I am still convinced the staff at the restaurant had some too!  I made it again this year because he came to visit.

The perfect mix of milk and dark chocolate in both the cake and the icing, this is not a cake for anyone who is easily embarrassed about buying junk food at the supermarket. Tucked under my arm was 4 blocks of chocolate, cream, butter, sugar, eggs and buttermilk. Thank god for self serve these days! The batter is really easy to make, just make sure you line the cake tin well and the baking is easy too. Don’t’ use a 20cm tin thinking it will be ok, because it wont, it needs the extra room or a 23cm or 24cm tin. This cake in a 23cm tin ends up about 10cm high. Test this cake carefully with a skewer after about 50 minutes. The cake will most likely still be really wobbly but it may need turning depending on your oven. I allowed the cake to cool in the tin for about 3 hours before I put it in a container. Joys of picking up younger siblings from night clubs hey! You don’t want it to be steamy when you put it in the container, you want to keep as much of the moisture in as possible.

There is nothing hard about this cake apart from waiting until the designated eating time! The icing is delicious, it covers the cake like a silky chocolate cape. The recipe calls for a lot of ganache but it isn’t wasted in any way, because the cake is so tall a lot of icing is needed to cover the whole cake, and the tiny amount that is left over will find a nice new home in your tummy! This cake can be left plain like I did or covered in strawberries or any other kind of berry. Covered in chocolate curls or drizzled chocolate would work well and so would something crunchy like a nut crumble. I served this with ice cream the first time and with ice cream and tinned mandarins the second time, the mandarins really help to cut through the richness of the cake. Daniel decided the cake is best warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave and served with custard. I took some to work and it was well received there too.

If you have a birthday coming up for someone who just loves chocolate cake then give this a go. Decadent, delicious and oh so naughty.

Love Sonia


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