When you are a baker, the onus of baking your own birthday cake inadvertently falls on you – (or in other words, you take the task upon yourselves 😉 ). I love chocolate the most in the world, so it’s a no-brainer that I’ll bake something with it.
Mud Cakes are rich, dense, yet moist chocolate cakes. To think about it, they are quite similar to brownies BUT they deserve the reverence of a proper cake to be eaten with a fork 🙂 It’s a chocolate cake on another level altogether – combining melted chocolate, cocoa powder and little instant coffee for the deep decadent flavour. If you love chocolate, you’ll love this one 🙂
Traditionally mud cakes are frosted with chocolate ganache, but I wanted to cut through the richness a bit, and what goes best with chocolate than coffee! This is my American-style buttercream recipe to which I’ve added a concoction of some hot water and instant coffee.
150g dark/semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
170g unsalted butter
2 tbsp instant coffee
200g granulated white sugar
150g all-purpose flour
30g (3 tbsp) cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs (or 2 large ones – about 130g), room temperature
2 tbsp oil (any unflavoured one)
60 ml (1/4 cup) buttermilk (or make your own by adding few drops of vinegar or lemon to 60ml milk)
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
500g-550g icing sugar sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp instant coffee
1-1 1/2 tsp boiling water
100g good quality dark chocolate (I used Bournville dark cocoa 55% bar)
80ml (1/3 cup) fresh cream / whipping cream
30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
2 tsp granulated white sugar
2 tsp golden syrup/corn syrup
A pinch of salt
Mud Cake –
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and prepare a 7″ round pan – cover the bottom with parchment paper. Rub butter or use non-stick spray across.
2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Add the sugar, coffee and water and mix well till dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your buttermilk and add eggs and oil and mix. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
4. Whisk the wet ingredients into dry and mix until no lumps. Don’t overmix. It’ll be quite a liquid batter.
5. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake it for 70-80 minutes till a skewer inserted comes out clean with no more than a couple of crumbs.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan kept over a wire rack. Once cool, remove from pan carefully.
7. If eating as it is, serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream. If frosting, cover it with cling wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before slicing and frosting.
Coffee Buttercream –
1. In a small bowl, add the coffee and pour just enough boiling water such that it dissolves.
2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or with paddle attachment in a stand mixer, beat the butter for about 5-7 minutes till it is smooth and pale in colour.
3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add 500g of icing sugar and mix until all sugar is combined.
4. Add the coffee concoction and mix well. Add more icing sugar if needed to get the right consistency.
Chocolate Dripping Sauce –
1. Chop us the chocolate roughly.
2. Heat the cream till it’s just about to boil but not boiling yet.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, put the chopped chocolate and butter and pour in the hot cream. Let is sit for 5 minutes then whisk them all together. Add the golden syrup, salt and sugar and mix till you get a glossy smooth sauce. You are looking for a sauce that is thick yet still fluid. Consistency is the key. Allow the glaze to cool a bit before dripping on your cake.
Once the cake is chilled, cut it into 2 layers using a sharp serrated knife. Apply a layer of buttercream on the bottom layer and cover it with the top layer. Crumb coat the whole cake with some buttercream and chill for 15 minutes. Coat the final layer of buttercream – you can get creative on the decoration. Chill the cake for 15 minutes before chocolate drip.
For chocolate drip, ensure you have the right consistency and your cake is chilled. With a small spoon, work few drips around the edge of cake at a time. Once you have completed the edges, fill in the sauce in the centre and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. If the glaze cools/thickens up too much, heat it up in the microwave a little to get back the consistency, else it’ll not smoothen up. Chill the cake for 15 minutes and then pipe some rosettes of buttercream or use chocolate chips for decoration.
1. You can bake this cake in a 8″ or 9″ round pan also. The baking time will reduce so keep a check after about 50 minutes.
2. I used couverture chocolate here for mud cake. A good-quality chocolate is important to get the best flavour.
3. You can also use vanilla buttercream, ganache frosting or whipped cream to frost this cake.