March 11, 2010

One Year On And A Chocolate Mud Cake


Through My Kitchen Window has been in the blogosphere one year today. Funny because usually people say time goes faster as one gets older. Generally I agree. However when it comes to my blog, I feel rather differently. I feel it has taken an eternity to get here. An awful lot of time has been invested in putting together many of my posts. Still, no one is holding a gun to my head or threatening to fire me because I have exceeded the deadline.

Questions niggle at me. What was it that made me commence a blog? When I commenced TMKW what was I hoping to achieve? Have my expectations been fulfilled? How do I still feel about it? Do I want to continue? Where would I like to see TMKW in one year from today? As a trained counsellor I do know the right questions to ask. As the client, I am most curious to what my answers may reveal.

What was it that made me commence a blog? I had actually been contemplating starting a blog three years earlier, but I was scared and "terrified" of the computer. All I could see was the 'delete' button and I felt certain that I would wipe all my work away in an instant. One year ago however, out of frustration I started because I figured it would be the perfect way to understand and learn how to use the computer. And if I wiped away everything, hopefully I would know what I did wrong and not do it again.

The other reason, and the most important reason, was my eldest daughter had moved out of home and I felt it would be the perfect way to keep her connected to the family and the events in our lives. For example, our 'Postie Ride' to Lake Eyre became a long series of posts so that she could "feel" and "experience" our trip through the computer screen. It was an enormous writing and uploading photo effort on my part, but it was well worth it because she loved it and she felt the love I put into it for her. A couple of other readers went along the ride too and that was a lovely bonus.

Last but definitely not least, I wanted a place to record my recipes and food experiences.

What was I hoping to achieve? I wanted to conquer my fear of the computer. I hoped that I would have my recipes in a place where I could find them easily. I realised I am mortal and with this realisation, I wanted to share my recipes and secret hints that I previously guarded more closely than my pin number. What is the point of letting things die with me. I was hoping to connect with someone in the world, a little like an old-fashioned "penfriend". I wanted to feel comfortable to be able to say whatever I wanted, be open and truthful. I wanted to find others like that too. Others who were genuine and prepared to write about their warts and all and also prepared to acknowledge when a recipe didn't turn out. I was hoping my daughter would remain attached and feel close to us.

Have my expectations been fulfilled? Mostly, yes. I'm not afraid of the 'delete' button any more. I have learnt how to use many functions on the computer but I am far from a confident user. Having come a long way, I still have a long way to go. I have made a couple of wonderful, genuine relationships in the blogosphere and that is incredibly satisfying. I have stayed in touch with one friend through my blog and we are closer now than ever even though she has moved overseas. My daughter has returned home and we are now closer than ever as well. I like to think that maybe TMKW has helped a little. As for the recipe collection, I am not too sure about that. I don't think my blog is very orderly and I don't think the recipes are in place where they can found easily. I need to work on tidying things up and creating a place to easily locate recipes.

How do I still feel about TMKW? I feel very close to my little blog. This is my space to feel free and express whatever it is I feel like sharing, be that food, family life or my thoughts. And 'my thoughts' is something that has been surprising. My thoughts have been creeping into each and every entry more and more. I have used TMKW to state my feelings at times, to express how I feel about various episodes in my life and then accompany that with a recipe. Far from the recipes being the star and the reason why I am starting a new post, I have found that often they follow on from whatever it is that struck a chord with me during the day. That is surprising to me and that's okay. TMKW is evolving and will continue to evolve. The fact that I am using this space as a personal journal at times feels right. It is what it is and by pouring out my thoughts and by releasing my energy be that positive or negative, TMKW has become a good friend. It feels liberating and it feels good.

Do I still want to continue with TMKW? Yes. However, I did experience a restless time recently and I had a good break from TMKW. I considered beginning a new blog and canning this one. Actually I did start another blog. I posted some very personal stuff on there and after three posts I haven't been back. I may hang onto that space for the really "inner core" stuff.

Where would I like to see TMKW one year from today? A new template is on the cards, so I may change my look. I recently canned the foodie blogroll. I had it posted in my sidebar and then I decided it was taking up my personal space and I had not gained any benefits at all from having it there. Right there and then I decided I didn't want any kind of advertising on my blog. I want an "uncluttered" blog. I want a visitor to come and and see ME. Nothing else. No bombardment of any kind. No advertising or monetizing. Just me. A place that is safe and has no expectations upon the reader at all. So I would like to see an even friendlier, homelier page. I guess in a year from now I would like to have a warm, cosy place for anyone who would like to drop in and feel at home. I would love to be able to tell a short story. I seem to get carried away and my story telling is very long at times. I need to be realistic. People really don't have the time to read all "my stuff". As for me it would be a good thing too. Less time on the computer means more time doing other things in life. Shorter posting coming up. Cross fingers. Ooops nearly forgot. I would like to see the recipes organised and to be easily accessed.

And one year from today, I literally would like to continue looking through my kitchen window and see my son pulling up in the drive after he has rejected Maccas, arriving home hungry so he can enjoy his Mum's cooking - because he knows the secret ingredient that he cannot get at Macca's - and that is love.

END OF INTERVIEW

The time seems fitting to have a special cake. This mud cake and I share a lot of history. I made all my children's graduation cakes when they were in primary school. I feel honoured that this cake was enjoyed by their classmates, teachers, parents and guests on their special evening. I've made it many times for special occasions including last year's 50th birthday. I can honestly say I don't think it has ever let me down. It really is a beauty. And as I sit here writing, my phone rings.



It is my very good friend Kim. I learn her son Jamie shall turn twenty one in April. She then proceeds to ask (plead may be a better word), if I would bake a couple of mud cakes for his birthday party. OH MY GOD! I am not joking. Seriously, I swear this is all true. Kim says that she hasn't tasted a better mud cake than mine and she wants the very best for Jamie. I am so flattered. Of course I will Kimbo! She does say she would like some decorating on it; basically to say twenty one. I am not too fussed at decorating but what the heck.

If that wasn't enough my other friend Dee phoned later the very same day. Apparently a lady at work wants a very special decorated mud cake for her son turning twenty one and her daughter turning eighteen on the very same day. I tell her to get the lady to give me a call. It's all too much. I can't take it. Quick, here is the recipe before the phone rings again. Besides I am going to need to access this recipe very soon myself. Hehe. Happy One To Me. Hang on - who is making me a mud cake?

The Very Best Chocolate Mud Cake
(adapted from Family Circle)

250gm butter
250gm dark cooking chocolate
2tbsp instant espresso coffee powder or granules
150gm self-raising flour
150gm plain flour
60gm cocoa powder
1/2tsp bicarb soda
550gm caster sugar
4 eggs
2tbsp vegetable oil or light olive oil
125ml milk

Chocolate Ganache

150gm dark cooking chocolate
60gm melted unsalted butter

Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin. Line the base and sides with baking paper, making sure the paper extends well above the top of the tin.

Dissolve the coffee in 185mls 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.

Sift the flours, cocoa and bicarb of soda into a large bowl. Sift a couple of times. Make a well in the centre.

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.

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 3/4 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.

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.

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.

In a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Do not overheat. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Once again, do not overheat or 'sizzle' the butter; just till almost melted. Pour this into the melted chocolate and slowly incorporate the two together. Stir until well combined and you have achieved a nice glossy, pouring chocolate.

Pour ganache onto the centre of the cake. Using a spatula or a knife, spread the ganache all over the cake. If the weather is hot or humid you can take a little more time to get it right. If the weather is cold you may have to work more quickly as the chocolate ganache may begin to harden.

Allow the topping to set at room temperature. If at any time you place it in the fridge you will lose the glossy shine. It won't affect the taste, it just won't look as silky smooth.

This cake keeps moist easily for about two weeks. After this period I'm afraid I don't know because I have never had any left to find out.


99 comments:

  1. Happy blog birthday and congratulations. Given most blogs are abandoned after just a few months, to get this far is a big achievement. It's always interesting to reflect back on the reasons for starting a blog. But it's just as important to look forward. To think about what it adds to your life, what you want it to be, why you continue blogging. It's something I do regularly with Limes & Lycopene and the answers have, over time, changed and evolved. I look forward to seeing what happens with Through My Kitchen Window over the next year.

    Oh yes, and *great* looking cake too!

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    1. Most delicious mud cake ever. But yes you are right when you say it is rich and it is not something we can eat every day. However, I would much prefer this cake to any other mud cake I have eaten and made so far. Thankyou for sharing.

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  2. How very sweet of you to pop in and leave such a lovely and encouraging comment Kathryn. I hadn't really thought of it as an "achievement", so thank you. I like your perspective of "looking forward". So true. And coming from you, I guess that is sound advice.
    Cheers Mariana.

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  3. This cake looks divine I think my heart skipped a beat when I saw it.Congrats on the one year, I have enjoyed following your blog,and congrats on the cake orders.

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  4. Happy blog anniversary! I have to second Baking Monster and say that my heart almost stopped upon seeing the picture of your amazing cake. It looks drop dead delectable.

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  5. Now first HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TMKW HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! To me it doesn't seem a year since you started this blog but must say I am so pleased you have decided to keep it going and you are correct it has been a wonderful way for us to stay in touch and keep this lovely closeness thankyou for that very much my dear friend.

    Every time I see that mud cake I drool mmmmmmmmm soooo good! I loved the interview very very good and so enjoyable for me to read.

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  6. But, you have a cozy spot here, Mariana! I think it imparts a warm and genuine spirit that must surely be a reflection of your perosonality.
    Never the less, I look forward to your evolution and appreciate your openness - and your generosity with these time-tested recipes... Have fun baking those cakes!

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  7. Congratulations on twelve months of blogging. I have enjoyed each and every one of your posts. I don't always get to read them "hot off the press" but when I do get to log 0n I always go back to see if I have missed any :-) Once again you have me drooling...slurp, slurp. I think I will write out this one and "have a go"...could be just what I need to shake me out of the doldrums. Thankyou Mariana

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  8. Happy anniversary! Your cake looks so moist and good. If it were in front of me right now I just might eat it for dinner!

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  9. Oh but that mud cake does look goooooooooooooooooood! Happy Birthday ;0)

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  10. Oh my - what a lovely surprise to see all these good wishes. Thank you everyone - it means a lot!

    Baking Monster - coming from a fellow cake baker and lover, that is high praise indeed.

    Tumbleweed Woman - what a gorgeous name you have. Glad your heart skipped a beat too!

    Stormy - my dear Gayle. You know me better than anyone and so your comments really touched me as only you would know. Glad you enjoyed my interview. It was totally unplanned. I simply began the post and this is where it led. Impulsive and spontaneous is what I am finding myself to be more and more these days. And that is a good thing. I hope. Hehe.

    Chelsea - lovely Chelsea. So glad you already find my humble abode warm. I am merely searching for ways to make it even more inviting, and you are most welcome any time my dear.

    Linda - where have you been dear lady? So glad you dropped by as I was worrying about the "lack of Linda". The doldrums aye. I guess we are all in that place at one time or another. If I may, I would recommend you use your blog as a place to unleash your "doldrum" feelings. Don't worry about posting a recipe or feeling you must write heaps in every post. Simply visit yourself and write a short note about how you are feeling and what is going on in your life - a journal of sorts I suppose. Begin another blog, as I did, so you can keep it confidential. I find it really helps to read back over my stuff and sometimes you may even achieve some clarity on things. There I go again, the counsellor in me coming out! Take care dear lady - hope the sausage making was a success!

    Denise - you don't seriously mean you would eat it for dinner, do you? Please don't - I wouldn't want to be responsible for the medical bills. It is so rich, I fear it would be too much for your system. Hehe.

    Chele - how lovely to meet you, fellow aussie. Thanks for the good wishes and I look forward to reading more about your exploits in Scotland, (one of the places I would love to visit more than anywhere in the world). It seems so mystical and entrancing to me.

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  11. OH why am I missing your new posts on my blog roll? I have to put it right.

    What a lovely post Mariana. .and happy blog birthday. I ask myself (everyday)too whether I really want to carry on with my blog....lol...in fact just last week Iwas seriously considering closing down...why? i dont know....

    this is seriously a love hate relationship m having.

    But it does document all my recipes wh is a good thing so that when im gone my children could always check my blog for their favourite food. Id never write all this down on paper.

    this is my little world too wher I am in full control and where I get to make all the decisions without consultation..what a great feeling...its like having my own magazine and I get to write whatever I like with no rejections! lol

    i was thinking of starting another blog where I just write about things....which what I truly love doing...n not have to worry about producing a food to display...but m still mulling over it.
    Your daughter must have surely enjoyed ur posts while she was away.

    This blog does bring YOU out so well Mariana..I enjoy your stories and writing and the first time I found you I loved ur blog right away..it was warm and tells of a life so different from mine.

    please keep blogging Mariana..I would miss you if you stopped. I pray u keep blogging for a long long time...lets grow old together!..I mean really old old! LOLOL

    OH I am so making this cake...tomorrow!!!! it looks gorgeous and so so so good!!!!

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  12. Oh my zurin - I am overwhelmed (once again) with the generosity of your comment. Firstly thank you for the acknowledgements and for your good wishes. Yes I shall definitely be posting my life, my stories and my recipes into the near and hopefully distant future.

    Secondly, and most importantly, I am not too sure whether to be concerned about you or not. I hear you saying that you love your blog. That you love the freedom, that you do not have to answer to anyone and that this "little" place is all yours where you can say whatever the heck you like. All very true and all very empowering I do believe. You sound a little like me in that you would love a place for the kids to be able to access your recipes, your stories and your thoughts. Wonderful.

    One of my favourite lines in my favourite movie "Bridges of Madison County", is where Francesca says in the diary to her children, "how sad it seems to me to leave this life without ever being really known." Deep, I know, but I love it. A journal can be a very liberating thing, a release of sorts and a place to be totally truthful. Perhaps starting another blog where you can lodge "what is going on with zurin today", is a good idea. Don't identify yourself and feel really free to express yourself. Then leave your passwords in an envelope for the kids, so that when "you are gone", the kids get the "real" you. Wouldn't that be a nice gift? Gee I hope I am not sounding too morbid here!!

    I do sense that you are a very dedicated wife, mother and daughter with many roles to fulfil. And I get the feeling you do it all very well. Am I right? Your blog is thriving, your posts are honest, your recipes are unique and beautiful and you have a prosperous and growing following. I am wondering what part of this scenario is "getting" to you. Are you feeling pressured? And if so, what is it that is pressuring you? Is it the number of people that visit you. Are you feeling overwhelmed because you would love to answer every single one of them, but it is just too much. Is it a pressure you have placed on yourself? Perhaps you feel you need "to deliver" now that all these people are visiting. I can see that your standards are high, but it is demanding to continually keep up with such high standards. Isn't it?

    I don't know zurin. I am merely asking and guessing here. I was rather alarmed to hear you say you were contemplating closing down your blog. Wow. I had no idea you were feeling like this. But now that you have said it, and I am glad that you felt comfortable enough to say this, please take some time to think things through. Take some time out. Have a break. It's okay. This blog thing isn't supposed to be a monster ready to consume you, which I feel it can all to easily become if you let it. Take control and take care of you. Give yourself a private interview like I did and see what your answers reveal. Perhaps add some other questions, like "Is the time I am spending on my blog or working toward posting on my blog interferring with other areas of my life? What areas? How is this affecting those areas? How much time is it reasonable to spend on my blog? Am I exceeding this? What is it that I enjoy most about blogging? What is it that I hate most about blogging? Am I prepared to stay the same or are there areas I can improve on or change?

    Or you can do nothing. Perhaps I overestimated you and you were just blowing off a little steam! And that's okay. Whatever the case, I'm glad you dropped in and sure.......I'd love to grow old together so you better hang around gal or I shall personally come over to Malaysia and track you down. Hehe. Love Mariana.

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  13. Oh Mariana tq for such a long and warm reply. I am overwhelmed too.

    Boy you're sharp!

    I think thats is my biggest problem each time I take up something (tt interests me). i push myself to produce this perfect thing (in my eyes at least)and then it consumes me. I become passionate and obsessed. then I get tired...LOLOL....then I get passionate again...lol...its a bad habit that I have.

    but its just a little something I need to do ...if you know what I mean. if it wasnt blogging it would prob be something else that i throw myself into..to escape...but one thing I know....I need a place/way to express myself not in so many words...like an artist paints or a sculptor sculpts or a pianist plays. doesnt everyone feel that way? gosh.. or is it just me?...LOL

    but don't worry..i have my feet firmly on the ground too. life has a way of balancing things out if you allow it to. I think I love myself too much to let me go to rot! LOLOL

    tq Mariana for your sweet concern. I am so touched. Yes...lets grow old blogging! ^.^

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  14. I understand zurin. There was a time when I was way too much of a perfectionist.....and then I wore myself out. Now things do not seem to phase me as much, so I guess it is good to be more relaxed about things.

    Great to hear your feet are firmly planted on the ground and you do seem to be very aware of how things are for you on every level. That's good.

    Take Care Love Mariana.

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  15. I LOVE THIS JOURNAL.
    I really do and have since it first began.
    Zurin is right in saying "This blog does bring YOU out so well Mariana"! Your writing allows people to get to know you and that is an endearing factor.

    This blog did make me feel connected while I was away and it warms my heart to know one of the reasons you began it was for me. Who could ask for a more loving mother? :)

    I, for one, will be viewing this blog in many years to come. In fact, it's inspired me to carry on with my own online journal. :)

    Cheers to the first year and hopefully many more to proceed!
    Love you, Ma.

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  16. happy blog-iversary! that cake looks amazing!

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  17. Well that is simply lovely thank you dear daughter. Your precious comment has made every single entry worthwhile. So in light of this I guess I had better keep on posting.

    So glad to hear you are inspired to keep on going with your own online journal. Maybe even one day, you will let me in!! Or not. Only kidding. Love you dear Issy and I am so very lucky to have you back under my roof, even if only for a short while. I am treasuring every moment.
    Love you too, Ma.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  18. Dearest Mariana,

    You know, I feel we are a little like 'blog twins'? We started at about the same time and, reading this wonderful post, for some of the same reasons. I agree with so much of what you say about one's blog being personal, cosy, a soft place to land on a busy day, unencumbered by advertising (not that anyone's asked me, haha!). I love to read your posts. Like all of the best blogs it gives me a snapshot of a whole different way of life, with its charms and complexities and challenges. It really is a window on your world, a glimpse through your kitchen window (for us, from the outside in) and I want to send you a million thank yous for all of the pleasure your blog has given me this year - for your warmth, generosity and delicious, joyful family recipes. I missed you when the kitchen was closed; I'm delighted it's open again.

    Bless you dear, and lots of love, Dxxx

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  19. Oh dear Debora - your comment was so touching it almost brought me to tears. It makes me feel you really, truly understand and appreciate "my angle". Simple, cosy stories with a nice recipe. Your description is soooo spot on and so perfect, I love you but I am also terribly envious of the beautiful way you effortlessly string your words together. You are such a good writer. And I am so very blessed you are my "blog twin"!! I guess when I started I was hoping for a close relationship with a blogger or two and at least that realisation has come true. Let's see how the next year pans out. Lots of love from your blogging sister. Mariana xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  20. Oh you. You are a lovely writer too, your personality shines through. I always feel like I'm right there at your side when I read your posts and that's why I keep coming back for more. Let's hope 2010 brings lots of happy adventures for us both, culinary and otherwise.

    Much love, Dxx

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  21. That looks heavenly!! My tummy is rumbling now, and it's bedtime for me too! ;)

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  22. My family is allergic to egg :( Could you please suggest any alternative for it??

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  23. Hi,... this cake looks heavenly! I was thinking of baking this for my husband's birthday. Would it be okay for me to split this between two tins instead of making it one high tin? Thanks. :)

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  24. Hi Delia. Yes of course you can halve the mixture and bake it in two tins. I would use smaller tins though, preferably 17cm rounds and make sure you reduce the baking time as well. Check after an hour. I must admit I have done this before, but I personally prefer one larger cake. It will be moister for longer and you also have a little room to play with if the crust is too crusty and needs removing. I think it also spells "celebration" when the cake is higher. That's my mere opinion, but you do as you please. Thanks for dropping by.

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  25. I have made this cake before for my sister's engagement, it was delicious. I was just wondering if I could make it as cupcakes and how I'd have to adjust cooking time if I could? Also, would you be able to help with a white chocolate version? Thanks.

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    1. White chocolate version? Afraid I never tried so I can't really offer you any constructive feedback on that one. As for the cupcakes, I haven't tried this recipe in paper cases, so I'd be guessing. Since this cake calls for longer slower baking I'd be hesitant to bake in paper cases - I don't think the average paper cupcase was intended for longer baking times. I'd go for a lighter chocolate cake for cupcakes just to be on the safe side. Sorry, I couldn't be more help.

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  26. Just wanted to thank you for this awesome recipe! I made it today with my pre-schooler and it is AMAZING!! I will be checking out the rest of your blog (I found you by Googling mud cake recipes).

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    1. Oh I'm so pleased the cake worked for you! Fantastic stuff and with your pre-schooler too - I'm very impressed! Well done and thanks for your praise - it's always nice to hear. Mariana.

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  27. Hi Mariana,

    I found your post googling for mud cake recipes also. I want to cake this cake for my son's 8th bday party coming up....it's his favourite cake. I realise the measurements are in grams...could you please tell me how many cups of flour and sugars I should use?
    Thanks so much.
    Ps I have read a bit of your blog and i wanted to thank you for letting share your world.

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    1. Hi Anon; sorry I haven't been on my blog since Nicka's birthday on the 19th which I see is the date you posted this comment. In answer to your question
      1 cup of castor sugar equals 200gms sugar and 1 heaped cup of flour equals 150gm of flour. At least it does in my book; not sure about standard measurements; all I know is these are MY measurements. Hope this helps and its not too late for your son's birthday. Good luck.

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    2. Thanks so much. We had my son's birthday party last night and he absolutely loved his cake. My husband tells me it taste just like a professional cake. Thanks again.

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    3. Great to hear your son loved his cake. My son loves it too! Thanks for the feedback Anonymous.

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  28. If you were to serve this after a three course meal, how many servings would you guess you would get out of this mud cake? I'm baking for 70 people and wondering how many to do. :)

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    1. If it were me, I would use a 30inch baking tin and make three batches of the mixture so that I have one very big round cake. There would be more than enough to serve 70; you must bear in mind this cake is very rich and your slices should be very thin. Take a look at my post "Best Mud Cake Ever" and view the very thin slice of cake in my photo. Sounds like that's what you may be aiming at. I feel a nice wedge always looks classier than say a square of cake on the serving plate. Some cream on the side, maybe a couple of fresh raspberries and you have one beautiful plate. Hope this helps.

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  29. This cake looks absolutely delectable. I plan to bake it sometime this week (with a little less sugar or substituting a portion of the white sugar with brown sugar...haven't decided yet). My oven's temperature gets messed up at times and I want this cake to come out perfect as I will be serving it to guests. I have the option of not turning the fan in the oven on but I am not sure if it will bake evenly. And also, I experience a lot of power fluctuations. Advice please :-)

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    1. I bake this cake in a fan forced oven. It shouldn't really matter though because a mud cake like a fruit cake react well to low temperature baking for a longer period; so baking in a convention oven is fine too. Power fluctuations makes it difficult - some things are out of our control. I wonder if baking in smaller tins is perhaps the safer way to go.

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    2. I think I will try that. I am sooooooo excited to bake this cake. Thanks a lot :-)

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  30. Hello Mariana! I'm making this for fathers day in a few weeks (dads request, I made it for his birthday back in April and he loved it) and I bought a new bundt pan that I am itching to try out. Do you think this would be suitable in a bundt pan? Should I change up the cooking time and temp? And I do you think it will raise too much or dry out?

    Sorry if these are armature questions, but it was so good last time that and I really want the bundt version to live up to his expectations :)

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  31. To be honest Georgia- I wouldn't use a bundt tin. It's pretty important to line a tin with baking paper to prevent it from sticking to the sides and bottom. How could this work with a bundt tin? Even if you greased heavily and dusted with cocoa powder I'd still be worried it'd come out clean.Having said that, you could have a practice attempt to see how you'd go - afraid I've never made mud cake in this type of pan as I've always preferred 'lighter' cakes in my bundt tin. Sorry - I wouldn't do it - but I'd love you to prove me wrong!!

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  32. Okay, thank you for the advice! I will just use the regular tin and have to keep searching for another excellent chocolate cake recipe that is actually designed for bundt tins. I will use a round pan for this cake for fathers day. Thanks again!

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  33. Hello there,
    I love the look of this cake, I was wondering if it can be adapted into a jaffa mud cake.
    If so how would I go about it?
    Many thanks in advance.

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    1. Interesting question.

      I'd probably omit the coffee; hmmm which is rather important in offsetting the sweetness in the cake and also adding to the rich dark colour. Instead of dissolving the coffee in the water; I'd replace the coffee with a small muslin bag (simply muslin material tied up with some twine)and fill it with strips of orange peel; peel from three oranges should do.

      Using a mallet, give the muslin bag containing the peel several bashes to help release all that lovely citrus oil. Allow to soak and infuse it's flavour in the hot water. Leave at least an hour - the longer the better is my guess.

      Make sure you squeeze the bag really well and that you have 185mls of liquid; I'll leave it to you to decide if you'd replace some of the water with orange juice. Not sure that it would add that much more of a citrus touch but you could try it.

      Make sure you use 'dark chocolate' and not milk chocolate. You'll need that extra bitterness with the omission of the coffee.

      If you do try this I'd love to know how it turned out for you.

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    2. Thank you very much, will let you know how I get along. :)

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    3. Hello again,
      I tried to make a jaffa version with this recipe, I was a little lazy though.
      I already had natural orange essence in the pantry, so I put one and a half teaspoons of that in it. I still put the coffee in it as I was worried about losing the rich choc flavour. Orange essence was not strong enough, how ever that cake is to die for any way ( what flavour).
      Your sugestion was the way to go for a jaffa version I think.
      Or Skip coffee, replace the water with the same amount of orange juice, grated rind of 2 oranges.
      Many thanks for your time in answering my question.:)

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    4. Thanks for the feedback Sarene. You've certainly expanded the horizon there with a jaffa version. I may have to give it a whirl myself - I'm a big orange lover; but only use seasonal oranges.

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  34. By chance has anyone converted the cake recipe from weight to cups, etc? I do not have a scale and would dearly love to make this cake. Thanks in advance.

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  35. Hi, I tried this cake with the same size tin that you stated but it didn't rise that high, it end up being about 5-6cm high instead.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. Just took out my 23cm cake tin; it's an older version and when I measured the height of the tin; well - it's only 6cm high. So that would be consistent with the height of the cake in this sized tin. I took out a 20cm deep tin and it's height is 9cm. I have made a mud cake in this 20cm tin, but I was caught with the mixture coming right up to the brim; I ended up lining the outside of the tin (double lining) and tying with twine under the rim to help the cake remain it's shape as it rose. It worked and it was very high. The size of the tin matters, so unfortunately if you wanted a high cake, yes the 23cm tin would not give you those results. It's a tricky business this cake making.

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  36. Hi Mariana

    I am going to make a 3 tier wedding cake for my daughter. Normally I do a fruit cake but she has asked for a mud cake. Can you let me know the quantities and cooking times for say 15cm, 21.5cm and 27cm round cakes. Many thanks - Anne.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry Anne - I don't want to give you info that may be incorrect. I haven't made a three tier for ten years. Looking back at my notes at that time, I've written "1 1/2 quantity for a 17cm and 23cm tins." I presume I did the same for 30cm also written in my notes, but I could have doubled the mixture - I can't recall. Also written in my notes are "you'll need 45 chocolate card sized squares to go around all three tiers" - I made the chocolate squares myself. The squares definitely made the cake look higher.

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  37. Hi there, just wondering when you mention to 'leave the cake overnight'... do I leave the cake in the tin on the kitchen bench, or put it in the fridge overnight?
    Many thanks!

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    1. Hi Penny. I mean don't take it out of the tin. When it's cooled; leave in tin, cover with a tea towel and put a heavy tray on top so that no air can get in. Next day you can, take it out of tin or keep storing it in the tin by placing the whole thing in an airtight container till needed. Leaving it for several days will allow for the flavour to fully develop. It really makes a difference; but if you need to use it right away then that's fine too. It doesn't need to go in the fridge.

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  38. Hi I baked this cake for my sister's birthday and It was delicious. I was asked to make the cake again but in a bigger size ( approx. 33cm) for my cousin's birthday cake. I was wondering if you know the modifications I need to make.
    Thanks

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  39. *
    Hey What an amazing recipe..looks divineeeee :* 
    i would soo love to try my hands on it but i was just wondering if we have a substitute for egg ? :( cons of being a vegetarian.. 

    your fan from India

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    Replies
    1. looks like u r racist that you left this post unaswered and answered only white ppl

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    2. Some of my best friends are NOT - to use your words: "white ppl".
      Judge all you like.
      Reply and you shall be deleted.
      Have a good day.

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  40. Help!! I have made this recipe and followed it exactly. The first time was perfect but I then had to make it twice for a wedding cake and both times it rose really tall and looked great but with about 20 mins to go in the oven it collapses and sinks. I don't open the oven while cooking and follow the recipe exactly.. Not sure what's happening!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jasmin - this is where it gets hard. Every person's oven is different - I bake at the lower temp to stay on the safe side. How hot is your oven - what temperature did you set? If it's too hot to begin with it'll rise too fast.

      Sometimes I have a sinking in the middle but it's not a huge collapse. I cut off the crusty top and level it evenly. What shelf position do you put the cake on? I bake mine on the middle shelf rack in the oven.

      Has the mixture been well mixed? Don't be afraid to beat it more thoroughly than you would say a cake needing lots of air incorporated like a sponge. The mixture has to be very well distributed or you'll have streaking; for eg; melted chocolate is heavy unlike straight cocoa powder so if it's not well mixed into the flour, the cake will rise initially but the heaviness of the chocolate will cause it to collapse. Your mixture must be well incorporated.

      Make sure the melted chocolate mixture is totally cooled - warm is no good - this will change the structure of the cake. You might also try mixing the eggs, oil and milk in with the cooled melted chocolate and then add this to the flours. Probably more fool proof to do this.

      Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Mud cakes certainly know how to test a person's resolve. I hope something here helps.

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  41. What a beautiful interview. I feel like I've been invited into an old friends home, shown into the kitchen where a hot pot of coffee has just arrived at the table with a slither of decadent moist mud cake. Warm rays of sunshine waving to the house through the window, warming on a crisp morning. Divine. Wish I'd found your blog earlier, thank you.
    Sarah, South australia

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    1. Oh gosh thanks Sarah for your warm and lovely comment. I had a quick glance at the post. Holey dooley - long and verbose and talk, talk, talk! I was quite the chatterbox back then. Still. Glad to hear you enjoyed the interview. After all this time, connecting with nice people always makes me feel good. Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Mariana x

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    2. my pleasure :) i truly am glad I found your blog though. I don't see it as long and verbose.. its beautiful when a mind can articulate what theyre thinking and feeling, while still sounding like a best friend. keep on keeping on. Xx

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    3. i forgot to ask, what depth was the cake pan you used? i need to find one so I can make this truly decadent looking cake.

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    4. I know it's an unusual size Sarah; but mine is 21cm. And it makes a wonderful high cake - I'm about to ice one - it's my son's birthday. Your timing is perfect.....hehe..x

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    5. Happy birthday to your son! I sent my daughter to school with heart shaped everything.. Cucumber, sandwiches, cheese. Lol. Even made her a popping candy chocolate with her initial. Well, I cannot find a 21 cm tin anywhere. Pretty bummed about it too. But, I will try and line the tin with tons of paper and foil, and if it flows over, I will have a tray underneath ready and waiting. Thank you, and I hope your son had his dream day. Happy Valentines Day :)

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    6. I just ordered a 20cm deep tin. Yay! Now I have to wait a week before cooking the cake :( not so yay.

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    7. Hi Sarah - Sorry for the late reply - been to an interstate wedding. I hope your tin is deep. I wouldn't sit the cake tin directly on the tray. Would be best to bake the cake only on the oven rack with a tray below the rack if you wish. Good Luck.

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  42. My cake is in the oven, but I don't think I mixed it enough. If it works, I will let you know! Lol.

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  43. OMG! You are a LEGEND! The mud cake has turned out peeeeeerfect! I cut about half an inch off the top where it had sunk a tiny bit, but oh wow! My first ever mud cake, and I'm keeping your recipe. I will be making it as a dessert for my daughters birthday in August. This one, I will be freezing. Have you ever taken mud cake out of the freezer, put it in the microwave a few seconds? Oh Heaven on a plate! I cannot thank you enough for sharing this wonderful, amazing, easy to make recipe. Oh, I cooked it at 130, and it took closer to two hours five minutes, but who cares? End result is fantabulastic

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    Replies
    1. OMG - what a happy comment! So so very pleased for you Sarah - Well Done Lady...hehe. Ovens temps certainly can vary - when I changed from my trusty old oven to another Bosch the temps weren't the same. You really need to know your oven - FACT. Sounds like you do and all has turned out brilliantly. It can be somewhat unpredictable with the 'sinking' bit sometimes, but there is no denying the taste - tis pretty special - so glad you now know too Sarah. Thanks for your encouraging feedback.....xx

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    2. I have to admit, our oven threw a hissy and ended up dying a day before my moms birthday. Ugh! So, she went out and bought a new one, almost the same, but with many more oven heating options. Bottom heat, top heat, both, fan off, fan on.. So confusing. I popped the cake in with both top and bottom and set it to 130. Anyway, the cake didn't make it to the freezer (insert embarrassed but satisfied chocolate filled face here). But a quarter did! Lol. But that was taken out last night to be consumed today when my sister comes over for lunch. Now, my mom never eats mud cake as she doesn't like it. Yet she ate MOST of this one! Seriously! I'm as shocked as you. Even my four year old daughter, who doesn't eat cake, she ate a slice - not just the ganache, though she did enjoy licking the bowl after pouring it on the cake. Oh, I did double the ganache recipe. Lol. And it was worth it. I cannot praise you or your recipe enough. I'm so tempted, at 5:18am, to eat that cake before my sister comes over! My mom has requested this cake for Easter, my birthday beginning of April, dads birthday and every other day in between now and forever. And I shall gladly make, and devour them all! So anybody reading your blog, MAKE THIS MUD CAKE. It's huge, delicious and so decadent. Can't recommend it enough. XxOo

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    3. Wow - I'm blown away Sarah - sounds like a few people have been converted with this one!! Happy to be of service and thank you for your incredibly generous feedback. Happy Mud Cake Baking, licking the bowl and enjoying with family and friends...xxx

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  44. Hi I'm going make this cake next week. I live in the tropics... what's the best way to store it until the day of consumption? In the fridge? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. The fridge sounds good; although take it out and bring to room temp for best eating results. If you place it in the fridge you'll also lose the shiny glossy look of the ganache; but who cares - it won't alter the taste - better that than have the cake go mouldy on you. Good luck.

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  45. I decided to make a double batch of this cake as I wasn't sure a single batch would be enough for what I had in mind. Shouldn't have worried, made 2 cakes which I will layer & 22 cupcakes!! I just tried one of the cupcakes & wow!! It will be my new go to mudcake recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad they worked out well for you Fleur - that's a lot of cake! Well Done.

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    2. I am going to make this cake again for my partner but I know it will be a touch rich for him... I was thinking of using milk chocolate instead of dark or omitting the coffee... Or both? What would you suggest?

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    3. Hi Fleur

      Sounds like another cake is called for. I wouldn't do either - for me the coffee is essential to counteract the sweetness and add to the darkness. Changing to milk instead of dark will make it sweeter still and really won't change the 'richness'. I'd be looking for another recipe - a lighter choc cake. Good Luck.

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    4. Fleur - look up 'Our forever chocolate cake' post. It's my go to ever-reliable moist and delicious choc cake. The recipe is fantastic - i recommend having a go.

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  46. Hi. Me again. I need to make a 12 inch mud cake, so would I need double batch or just another half? The pan is three inches deep. Also, it's a fat Daddio, and they recommend cakes be cooked twenty degrees lower as they conduct heat well. Would that be ok? I usually bake the eight inch at 130oC. Thanks. Xx and how are you doing?

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  47. i just made this cake for my Nephew's bithday on sunday ..it was amazing everyone liked it ...thankyou for sharing a wonderful receipe

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  48. Hi, I'v made this for my husband's b'day .It was really amazing.I think I used my 9 inch pan .But I can't remember the height of the cake.I'm going to make this cake again for a little girl's b'day and decorate with fondant.I want a quite tall cake .WHAT SIZE PAN ,WHAT TEMPERATURE AND TIME SHOULD I USE TO MAKE A 4 INCH TALL CAKE. I don't want to ,multiply the recipe coz I need only 10 servings.Thank you so much

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  49. Can I use dutch processed cocoa in this cake.I can't wait to try this cake

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  50. Hi thank you for a nice n yummy recipe. I have made this cake in a 20 cm pan n it turns out great only sinking a bit in the middle. I just hv one question. Can I divide the batter to 2 smaller pan n how long n what temp I shld bake it on. Also I'm making a wedding cake so I need to put fondant on it. Can I use the ganache recipe to cover the cake before the fondant?

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  51. Just wondering if I should use Dutch cocoa for this recipe or not?

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  52. Just made this cake, but had no scales
    I used. 1 1/3 cups SR Flour and Plain Flour
    2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa
    But later realised it was from American conversion chart!😳

    Also I forgot to add sugar until the end before putting in oven!!!
    Fingers crossed...mixture wasn't pouring consistency...

    Could you please add cup measurement to your lovely recipe for dummies like me.
    Thanks
    Cathy (Frenchs Forest Sydney)

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    Replies
    1. Cake turned out ok ...just a little dry, but I will definitely make it again.
      (I'm going to buy some scales, and focus better when cooking😳😳😳)

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    2. If it's of any consolation, I followed the recipe to the T in grams and it also turned out rather dry.

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  53. hi mariana oh surely you know you are wicked for posting this unreal not from this planet picture and recipe. i went to sleep dreaming of how i have to wrap the parchment paper so high thank you so much for sharing. congrats on your husbands birthday i am going to journey through your blog now and await further blogs thanks

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  54. Hi. Made this cake. Absolutely beautiful ! Loved it. Thanks for the recipe :) I made mine in a heavy casserole pot lol

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  55. I am not a huge chocolate mud cake fan, but this cake is fantastic! Tastes like a perfect, huge chocolate brownie. Thank you so much for this great recipe :)

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  56. Hi I am wanted to know if this delicious mud cake can be frozen thanks

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  57. If I wanted to make this cake slightly less dense would I add more rising agent?

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  58. Hello! Im so excited to bake this cake! When I read about it, it reminds me of the cheese cake shops chocolate mud cake! That's what I'm hoping for anyways nice and rich and moist. I was wondering though I don't have a really deep dish do you think I can split the portions up and layer with Granashe in the middle? If so that would change the cooking time and temp I Asume, does anyone have any recomimdations or feedback? Thanks in advance!

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  59. I made this mud cake during the week motivated by some guests that were over.. Thank you thank you thank you, I have been searching for years for a Mud cake such as this one and Finally found it here on your blog.

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  60. This recipe is amazing! So in love! I have always wanted a go-to mud cake recipe and I've found it! Thank you so so much :D Just wondering, is there any way to turn this recipe into a White Chocolate Mudcake or a Caramel Mudcake?

    Thanks heaps!!
    Emma

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  61. Hello just wondering if the chocolate has to be completely cool before adding to the other ingredients can i speed this up by placing in the fridge.? My chocolate is beginning to toughen is this ok? Thanks so much.

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  62. Hi,i was wondering if you can use this mudcake and ganache recipe for a wedding cake and can you ice this cake with fondant icing after you have let the ganache set on the cake

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