Dark Chocolate Mudcake

A few weeks ago my dad turned 60. Many would view this as an excuse to party and celebrate, but my dad loathes being the centre of attention. Knowing he would hate a surprise party, we decided to opt for a simpler affair and took him out to lunch instead. Behind his thinly veiled protests that he didn’t want to do anything lay an actual excitement at getting to spend time out with his immediate family. If there was any doubt as to his desire to mark the occasion, his incessant talking since about how much he enjoyed it enough to put that to rest.

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 04

Amidst all his protestations, I did manage to get him to decide on a cake. In fact, the cake was the one thing he agreed to with no hesitation. His cake choices are usually fairly predictable: either sponge or mudcake, but mostly mudcake. I couldn’t even feign surprise then when he asked for a mudcake.

The recipe I used is one I reserve for special occasions as it’s a comparatively expensive cake to make. I made it for an order once: the 35cm version has a whopping 2 and a half kilos of chocolate in it. So when I say this cake is chocolate heavy, I really mean it. But the result is completely worth it.

This birthday cake was made on a much smaller scale, so the chocolate amount is on the smaller side. You know it’s rich when 600g of chocolate is considered small. Then there’s the mound of butter and brown sugar in there as well. It’s certainly not the kind of cake to chomp on if you’re on a health kick.

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 01
One thing to keep in mind is to let the cake cool completely once it’s baked. When it first comes out of the oven it often has a massive cracked dome, but it sinks back to a flat (albeit still cracked) surface upon cooling. The cracking and the thick sugary crust is completely normal — I usually cut off the very top of it to make it flat then invert the cake.

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 02

Dad insisted on keeping the cake simple, and as I was crazy busy with work sticking to the request was made a little easier. I covered the whole lot with a whipped dark chocolate ganache. Because at this point, what’s a little more chocolate added to the mix?

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 00
On top I added a few fresh strawberries drizzled in white chocolate and a few coconut truffles.

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 03
And around the outside I added a simple white chocolate collar. This is achieved by drizzling melted white chocolate onto a large strip of acetate, then wrapping it around the cake before it has the chance to set. If you temper the chocolate as I did, you need to move quickly. But this really quick effort can transform the sides of the cake from plain to something a bit different.

Cakecrumbs' Mudcake 05
The cake itself is a really fudgey mudcake that tastes part cake and part fudge brownie. Dad absolutely loved it. It’s well suited to serving with something light, like whipped cream or ice cream. The fruit is also a great way to cut through all the richness. My dad raved about how good it was with vanilla ice cream, while Cameron demolished it with my home made peanut butter ice cream. I just loved it alongside the strawberries.

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Here’s how you can make this cake yourself. It’s worth mentioning that we don’t like boozy cakes, so I subbed the coffee liqueur for a mix of coffee essence, vanilla essence and water. Your options are completely open for this one.

Dark Chocolate Mudcake
395g (12.5oz) unsalted butter
625g (1.25lb) dark chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
1 cup (250ml/8.75fl oz) water
1 cup (200g/6.5oz) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups (225g/7.25oz) plain flour
1/3 cup (50g/1.5oz) self raising flour
3 free range eggs
1/3 cup (80ml/2.75fl oz) coffee flavoured liqueur

Whipped dark chocolate ganache
300g (10.6oz) dark chocolate, chopped
150ml (5oz) cream

  1. Preheat oven to 150­°C (120°C fan-forced/300°F). Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Place butter, chocolate, instant coffee, water and sugar into a medium saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring, until ingredients have melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a clean bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Add sifted flour, eggs and coffee liqueur; whisk until combined. Pour into prepared cake tin.
  4. Bake mixture for 2.5 hours. When cake is baked, test for firmness (or use a skewer to test – an inserted skewer should be clean when removed). If cake is still moist, bake for a further 10 minutes or until cake as cooked through
  5. Remove from oven; cool completely in cake tin.
  6. Whipped dark chocolate ganache

Whipped dark chocolate ganache

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl; heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just reaches boiling point then pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate has melted.
  2. Allow to cool to room temperature, then beat with electric beaters until ganache reaches soft peak stage. Immediately spread over the cake.



10 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Mudcake

  1. Last night my daughter showed me photos of a Game of Thrones cake, and my immediate thought was I hadn’t seen you blogging lately. It was so good this morning to see your dad’s yummy cake! I wish I had someone like you to bake celebratory cakes for me 😉 I’m sure your dad appreciated eating your effort, as much as I loved the eye-candy!

    • That’s so sweet of you to think of me. 🙂 I’ve been so pressed to find time to blog lately. Funny you should mention Game of Thrones as I have one such cake I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for a while.

  2. What was that sound? Oh, that was just my teeth being so impatient to sink into this that they leaped out of my gums! I think I know what I’m making for Christmas this year….And peanut butter ice cream sounds like a great accompaniment.

  3. It was great to see your Dad enjoy his birthday lunch and the cake. And the cake definitely goes well with your peanut butter ice cream!

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