When you bake as much as I do, you have regular recipes you whip out for special occasions. Of course, I always ask for preferences among the group, but the answer is almost always ‘chocolate’. Chocolate is the ultimate crowd-pleaser, but there’s chocolate cakes and then there’s this. This is the fudgiest, richest mudcake I’ve ever had. It’s the kind of mudcake that makes me disappointed in other mudcakes. So when an occasion demands chocolate, oh boy do we bring the chocolate.
The best part is this cake is flourless, or gluten free. The cake itself is dairy free. This time I made a chocolate ganache for the top, but I’ve definitely used dairy free fudge recipes for the icing instead. I’ve even served it with no icing at all, cause this cake is delicious enough that it doesn’t need it. That makes it super versatile for occasions where you might need to cater for a range of dietary requirements.
Recently a very special occasion called for cake. Amari, my samoyed puppy I introduced you all to some months ago, was having a reunion party with her family. It was day of big smiles all around, but none bigger than on the faces of our little clouds. Amari has had playdates with her mum and Uncle, but this was the first time she was seeing her sisters. And one thing was clear: they did not forget each other. Their joy was palpable, and contagious.
Our hosts put on a fantastic lunch while our furbabies reunited, zooming up and down the yard in a giant mass of fluff. Of course I did my part by bringing the sweets. I promised dessert, I promised chocolate, and chocolate there was.
The not-so-secret secret to this cake is using good quality chocolate. The kind of chocolate you eat, rather than baking chocolate. Good quality ingredients always improve your cakes, but in this one in particular the chocolate really shines.
Of course, once you’re finished adding the chocolate its time to add… more chocolate? More chocolate!
Honestly, this cake is wonderful just baked as is. The whipped egg whites make for a crispy exterior shell, and while its still warm it’s so incredibly gooey. I’ve definitely served it many times like this with whipped cream and berries. But in an effort to make it a little more presentable, I made a batch of whipped chocolate ganache to coat the cake in.
I made a quick white chocolate collar by piping a bunch of white chocolate onto acetate and wrapping it around the cake. The humidity definitely got to the chocolate during this part so it didn’t turn out how I wanted. But if anything was gonna go wrong, I’m glad it was that part.
I added a bunch of fruity tea filled macarons I made to the top with a couple of strawberries and that was it for this simple cake.
When I arrived, one of the guests who hasn’t seen my baking before thought I was joking when I said I’d made it. That’s the highest of compliments right there.
As I said to everyone on the day, this is the kind of cake where you look at the slice you think you want, and then cut yourself one half the size instead. This baby is rich. Halfway through you’re dreaming of seconds. By the time you finish the slice you’re looking for the nearest sofa to sleep off your food coma.
This cake will take on many different identities depending on how you serve it. Fresh baked with whipped cream, it’s a warm pudding-like dessert. Cooled and iced it’s a rich, indulgent cake. Refrigerated, it reaches a brownie-like consistency. Any way you have it, it won’t disappoint.
Rich Dark Chocolate Mudcake
The richest mudcake you'll ever eat.
• 1/3 cup (35g) cocoa powder
• 1/3 cup (80ml) hot water
• 150g dark eating chocolate
• 150g butter
• 1 1/3 cups (300g) brown sugar
• 1 cup (125g) almond meal
• 4 eggs, separated
• 100g thickened cream
• 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Line or grease a 22cm cake tin
- Combine cocoa powder and hot water; set aside
- Combine chocolate, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan; heat over low heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa mixture, almond meal and egg yolks
- In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks; gently fold into chocolate mixture in two batches
- Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 1 1/4 hours; stand in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until it just begins to boil.
- Pour hot cream over chocolate; allow to sit for 30 seconds, or until chocolate begins to melt. Stir until smooth then allow to cool to room temperature.
- Using electric beaters, beat ganache until light and fluffy. Spread over cooled cake.