This is my ultimate go-to chocolate cake recipe. It is relatively quick and easy to make, and always turns out wonderfully. I have tried many mud cake recipes over the years but none have come close to this one. I was very lucky to receive the original recipe from a close friend, and only made some slight changes such as reducing the sugar content and simplifying the method. You don’t have to worry about creaming butter and sugar or sieving flour multiple times for this recipe, which is one of the best things about it.
I made this as a second cake for Natalia’s birthday dinner (see previous post) when she informed me on the day that she would need two cakes. I was aiming for more of a chocolate/cherry flavour by adding cherry brandy to the mix but the dominating flavour was definitely chocolate. I did this once before in my Black Forest Cake, but I wouldn’t bother again unless I find a concentrated natural cherry extract or flavouring. It still tasted as moist and delicious as ever though, and I got some very good feedback from those who tried it (“Best chocolate cake I’ve had in Australia” said Nat’s Brazilian boyfriend Neco – and his favourite just happens to be chocolate cherry cake!).
Chocolate Mud Cake
- 2 cups plain flour (low protein will yield slightly better results)
- 1/2 cup dutch or good quality cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 190g butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 free range eggs
- 2 tsp natural vanilla essence
Preheat fan-forced oven to 160C. Line the base of whatever tin(s) you use with baking paper and grease the sides. I usually use a single deep 9 inch tin.
Sift flour, cocoa, salt and bicarb in a bowl and whisk to distribute bicarb evenly.
Combine butter, sugar and boiling water and stir until smooth. Add to flour mixture and whisk to combine, add beaten eggs and vanilla. It should be quite runny.
Pour into tin(s) and bake until a moist looking dome has formed and a skewer just comes out clean. For a single tin it usually takes me about 40-50 minutes.
If the top rises unevenly or has large cracks your oven is too hot (but it should still taste fine). You can get away with under-baking this cake slightly as it’s supposed to be super moist. If cutting into layers, wait until it is completely cool (or even freeze). It should last 1-2 weeks covered in the fridge and like any good mud cake should, it definitely improves with age. Best eaten at room temperature or warmed slightly in microwave.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
- 100g good quality dark chocolate (I highly recommend Whittaker’s 50% cocoa)
- 200ml cream
Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Place cream in a small saucepan and heat to scalding (just before boiling). Pour cream over the chocolate and gently stir to combine, until smooth. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until it has reached the desired consistency. Ensure the cake is completely cool before frosting.