I have a confession – while most people like their cake “light”, I like mine “dense”. Particularly when it comes to chocolate cakes. I like it dark, moist and dense. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I just have to give it a try.
As much as I love chocolate cakes, I decided to scale down the recipe and bake a 6-inch cake:
125 grams butter
125 grams dark cooking chocolate
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder or granules
75 grams self-raising flour
75 grams plain flour
30 grams cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon bicarb soda
200 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or light olive oil
63 ml milk
1) Grease a deep 6-inch round cake tin. Line the base and sides with baking paper, making sure the paper extends well above the top of the tin.
2) Dissolve the coffee in 93 ml hot water. Put the butter, sugar, chocolate and dissolved coffee and water in a pan. Stir over a low heat until smooth, completely melted and well incorporated. Set aside.
3) Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb of soda into a large bowl. Sift a couple of times. Make a well in the centre.
4) Add the combined eggs, oil and milk; using a large spoon or spatula mix well into the dry ingredients. Add half the cooled melted chocolate mixture; stir well till there are no lumps. Add the remaining half; make sure the mixture is well combined. It should be of a pourable consistency.
5) Pour the mixture into the carefully lined cake tin. Place into a preheated oven set at 130 – 150degrees celcius. No higher. I feel the mud cake requires baking a bit like a christmas cake; long, slow and low heat. Bake for approx 1 ¾ hours. It is not unusual for the top of the cake to develop a crust or for the centre to be slightly sunken. Place the cake on a rack; leave in tin until completely cold. Once cold; cover securely with a tea towel. Leave overnight.
6) Turn cake out, remove all of the lining. Examine the cake. You want a level cake when it comes to decorating; therefore if it is not even it may be necessary to slice off some of the crusty bits until it is level with the centre of the cake. Sometimes the cake may have a slight rise. In this instance simply cut off the risen bit in the centre. Sometimes you won’t have to do a thing.
7) Once you have achieved a flat, top surface, turn the cake upside down. It is wise to do this on the serving plate with some cutouts of baking paper around the edges and under the cake. This alleviates any messiness and once the icing becomes firm, the baking paper can be removed leaving your cake looking immaculately decorated.
Sometimes, the hardest thing about baking a cake like this is having to leave it overnight! Well, I cheated and ended up peeling off some of the crust in the name of taste testing! It was delicious.
Since I have leftover chocolate ganache in my freezer, I heated it up and applied it on the cake, with a coating of my favourite chocolate mirror glaze for a simple finish. And It’s a good thing I did that too, as I had a last minute office birthday and this was just the cake for the occasion.