This year I baked a Mississippi mud cake in the shape of a small football pitch for the Wolfman’s birthday. I’m sure many of you must have had one when you were in primary school but my version does not have the typical green coconut grass or the flags and goal posts. The moist, fudge-like chocolate base here is covered with a thin layer of swiss meringue buttercream and the whole thing is wrapped in almond paste for a bakery-style finish. I did not manage to deliver the cake this year but I would still like to wish the birthday boy a happy belated birthday!

MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Mud Cake

200g butter, chopped

150g dark chocolate, chopped

1 1/4 cups caster sugar

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups hot water

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs instant coffee powder

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Meringue Frosting

1 egg white, room temperature

5 tbs caster sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

150 g almond paste

Green food colouring

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170oC. Grease a deep 20-cm round baking pan, line base and sides with baking paper.

  • Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, hot water, vanilla, oil and coffee powder in a medium saucepan.

  • Using a wooden spoon, stir over low heat until the chocolate melts. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  • Cool for 15 minutes. Whisk in flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder, then stir in the eggs.

  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Cover cake loosely with foil halfway through.

  • Stand cake in pan for 30 minutes before turning on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  • For the frosting, beat the egg white and sugar  in a large clean bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  • Beat until stiff then gradually add butter to obtain a creamy consistency. Tint with green food colouring.

  • Spread frosting in thin layers over cake and cover with a layer of green almond paste. For 12-15 servings.
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