The least stressful way to make a wedding cake at home is to choose a cake that can be made and iced ahead of time. Fruit cakes can live happily for months under an airtight seal of fondant; sadly, fruit cake has fallen out of favor to some degree. A more popular flavor is chocolate mud cake. This recipe will not keep for months, but it will remain moist for several days and can be made further ahead and frozen if required. Because the cake is so dense and rich, it can be served in very small squares like a traditional fruit cake.
This recipe fills a 9-inch round tin but can easily be multiplied for larger tins. A handy maths-free way to determine the quantities needed is to fill a 9-inch round tin and pour the water into the desired cake tins. Three tinsful of water equal three times the recipe!
250g butter, chopped 1 Tbsp oil 200g dark chocolate, broken or chopped 1 ½ cups caster sugar 1 cup hot fresh coffee 2 eggs 1 ½ cups self-raising flour ½ cup plain flour 1/3 cup cocoa
How to Make the Chocolate Mud Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). Grease and line a deep 9-inch round tin.
- Mix the butter, oil, chocolate, sugar, and hot coffee in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir over low heat until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- While the butter and chocolate are melting, sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Using a large whisk, pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together thoroughly – the cake mixture is still hot, so any large strands of egg white may cook in the mixture! When the egg is well broken up, add to the mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Pour the thin batter into the cake tin and bake for two hours, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave in its tin until completely cold, then turn out. If freezing the cake, leave the baking paper on the bottom and sides of the cake and wrap it in several layers of brown paper, foil, and a plastic bag.
Variations on the Basic Chocolate Mud Cake
If the cake has several tiers, it can be fun to change up the flavors a little. To easily tell the flavors apart, tint the marzipan layer (the under-layer) of the fondant with the appropriate colors – orange for a jaffa cake, green for peppermint, pink for cherry liqueur. The colors won’t be visible before the slices are cut. Add the grated zest of an orange and replace some of the water with orange juice for a chocolate orange cake. Chocolate goes well with liqueur – try a splash of Tia Maria, rum, brandy, whiskey, or even crème de menthe. Peppermint essence or peppermint chocolate can add a minty tang to the cake.
Tips for Baking a Large Chocolate Mud Cake
A tripled or quadrupled recipe will take much longer to cook. Cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent burning. For very large quantities, heat the wet ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot, and obtain a large clean heavy-duty plastic bucket to mix the dry ingredients. Nappy buckets or even plastic trash bins can be handy for this, as long as they are used only for cake-making!