Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making a Splash in town!

A new client recently ordered a chocolate cake. Since it was her first time, I made her my standard chocolate birthday cake, a cocoa cake recipe that I got from Country Living magazine 20 years ago. She liked it but said she was looking for something a bit more chocolatey so I said she should try my Puddle of Mud.........and thats when the ripple effect took over! My client was extremely pleased with that one----I could almost hear the slight giggle in her voice when she described the chocolate experience she had! Needless to say the next day I got orders for it again---from other ladies who were at her party! So I can say it has made quite a splash around town.

Puddle of Mud is my version of a recipe for Mississippi Mud cake I got from a Williams and Sonoma cd-rom many years ago. I changed it around a bit and came up with a moist and deeply chocolate yet light cake. It is almost lowfat yet feels decadent. It starts with a custard and is quickly mixed; you really dont even need a mixer. I fill and cover the sides with a chocolate buttercream frosting and smooth a dark chocolate glaze on top to give it that mud puddle look.

Puddle of Mud


for the custard:

1 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 T. vegetable oil

Other ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line (with parchment or silpat) and grease again and flour pans----either 2 8-9 in. round or square or 1 9x13, or 1 10x15 etc.( depending on how tall you want your cake to be).

To make the custard, mix the cocoa, milk, and butter and oil in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring all the while. The mix will thicken as it comes to the boil. Let it boil for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir all dry ingredients together. Add warm cocoa mixture and mix until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time with vanilla. Mix until well incorporated and smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pans, making sure to spread it smooth to the edges. If you want to be sure you wont have a hump in the middle, you may like to use water soaked insulated strips around the pans. I got mine from Wilton.

Depending on the size of the pans, bake for 25-30 minutes for the smallest to 15-20 for the largest. Its best to test for doneness with a toothpick or spring back when gently touched.

Let cool in the pans on wire racks.

Make buttercream.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 t. vanilla
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Cream butter until smooth. Add cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and milk and salt and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until smooth.

Dark chocolate glaze:

1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Bring milk and syrup to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and stir until perfectly smooth.

If youre making a layer cake, place one layer on a plate, flat side up, and spread with about 1 cup of frosting. Place other layer flat side down on top of this one. Spread sides with frosting until covered and smooth. You may like to decorate the base and top with a border. The top border sort of helps to prevent the glaze from pouring down!
When the glaze has cooled a bit and isnt too runny, pour or spoon some on top and spread all over to the edges.