Four layers of rich chocolate mud cake goodness with three different fillings. Cookies & Cream, mocha ganache and baileys buttercream. Three cakes in one.
A few months ago I travelled to Germany to visit my family. While on a day out with my sister we went to one of the many home decor shops (the UK needs more of them!).
In one particular shop we ooed and aawed in front of a shelf with the cutest mugs and bowls that ever surfaced on this planet. They always remind me of Chip, the little tea cup from The Beauty & the Beast (my favourite Disney movie!).
Since I always travel light when I go to Germany I couldn’t take one home. It would be too much of a shame if it broke during the journey.
As fate wills it, I was approached by FiftyEight Products who design exactly those mugs and bowls (and lots of other to die for stuff) a couple of months ago.
Have a look at their online shop to see the full range of cuteness overload.
As a keen food photographer a few of the items I chose were small bowls and the cute serving plates (because you can never have enough plates) which are ideal for cakes, small cookies (okay, what I really mean are macarons), dips or other snacks.
I loved the plates especially as they have a small bite mark and it makes them so unique. I’ve actually used the plates on Instagram already in this photo:
But they were also perfect for the mud cake I made last week. Mud cakes seem to be gaining on popularity on Instagram or at least I have seen a lot lately. So joining the tribe I needed to try mud cakes too.
I did some research, flipped through the many cookbooks I have and compared recipes online and in the books. The difference was very obvious: while almost all of the recipes online involved melted chocolate only in the book it mentioned cocoa powder. Hmm, so which one is the right mud cake you say?!
I did a little more research and a ‘proper’ mud cake should have melted chocolate in it to make it extra chocolatey.
Mud cakes are quite dense and are best eaten a few days after baking to enhance the chocolate flavour. So that is what I did. I baked my cakes on Wednesday, wrapped them in cling film and let them sit for 2 days. I wouldn’t normally do that with a vanilla sponge. To be honest it wasn’t exactly two days but we didn’t eat it until Friday. I did level the cake layers , filled and crumb coated the cake the next day. On Friday I applied the final buttercream layer and decorated the cake (and ate a piece or two).
Three fillings might seem a lot but it isn’t as much work as it might imply.
The Baileys filling and the Cookies & cream filling is basically Swiss meringue buttercream. Only the ganache needs extra preparing beforehand as it needs to cool and set slightly.
But all the work pays off. The cake is delicious, chocolatey and with every mouthful of cake you get a different flavour. It was like having three cakes in one big cake. We loved that and I definitely want to try other versions too.
Since it is quite a big cake it’s ideal for a family celebration. It will serve 8 to 10 people depending on the size of pieces being cut.
The cake can also be baked in two 8 inch cake tins. I prefer my cakes smaller but higher and divided the batter between four 6 inch cake tins.
Recipe Mud Cake with Cookies, Mocha & Baileys
Ingredients for the sponge:
adapted from Cake Paper Party
227 grams butter
200 grams 70% dark chocolate ( I used Callebaut 70.5% dark chocolate)
400 grams granulated sugar
60 grams cocoa powder (dutch processed if possible- I used Callebaut cocoa powder)
300 ml strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs (large)
285 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients Mocha ganache:
150 grams dark chocolate chips (e.g.54% Callebaut)
1-2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
70 ml double/heavy cream
Ingredients Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
adapted from Style Sweet CA
150 ml egg whites (4 to 5 large eggs)
250 grams granulated sugar
450 grams butter, at room temperature
Baileys: 1 to 2 tablespoons Baileys (depending how strong you want it)
Cookies: coarsely crushed Oreos (I used golden Oreos)
Grease and flour four 6 inch cake tins. Preheat oven to 180 centigrade.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan. Remove from the heat.
Add sugar and cocoa powder, then slowly add the coffee.
Next add the vanilla extract and one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. You can do this with a mixer if you prefer but I like less mess and did it all in the saucepan.
Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for approx. 35 mins. Check with a skewer for doneness (skewer should come out clean).
Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely, then wrap in cling film until needed.
To prepare the ganache gently heat the coffee and double cream until just steaming.
Pour over the chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) and let sit for a few seconds.
Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Leave to cool and set until it reached a spreadable but not runny consistency.
To make the Swiss meringue buttercream combine the sugar and egg whites in a heat proof bowl.
Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and gently whisk to prevent the egg whites from cooking.
Heat until the mixture reaches 70 centigrade.
Once it has reached 70C remove form the heat and beat on high speed for about 10 minutes (or until he bowl is completely cool to the touch).
Change to the paddle attachment and gradually add the butter. Once the butter is incorporated increase the speed of the mixer and beat for several minutes until you have a smooth buttercream.
(Unlike others I like to add the butter with the whisk attachment still in use but you can change to the paddle attachment.)
Divide the buttercream into 3 parts: 1 big part for crumb coat and final coat, 2 smaller parts (around 1 cup) for the baileys and cookies filling. (Note: if you want a little bit of coloured buttercream you will need to save some for this as well.)
Flavour the one smaller parts with Baileys and the other with crushed cookies. Alternatively you can lay the cookies on top of the buttercream instead of mixing it in the buttercream.
Once everything is ready, level the cake layers to prepare them for filling.
Apply a tiny amount of buttercream onto a cake board and press your first cake layer on it.
With an offset spatula spread the Baileys buttercream evenly on the sponge.
Place the second cake layer on top and press down lightly.
Spread the chocolate ganache on the second cake layer.
Add the third cake layer and spread the cookies buttercream on top.
Add the final cake layer on top. If any fillings have oozed out on the side smoothen it with a spatula.
At this stage I like to chill my cake for a few minutes to help set the fillings and prevent the layers from sliding.
Next apply the crumb coat.
Spread a bit of the buttercream on top of the cake and work your way down the sides until the cake is well covered and no loose crumbs are left. Chill for 20 minutes then apply the final coat of buttercream in the same way. Use a side scraper to achieve straight sides.
If you are using coloured buttercream like I have in black and grey, you need to apply a bit of it when you are almost done with your final coat. Once you put the coloured buttercream where you want it use the side scraper again to smoothen it. You can do this more often if you have taken off too much of the colour.
Thank you 58Products for the collaboration. I love your stuff!