Monday, March 19, 2012

Dad's Caramel Mud Cake

Last week my Dad turned 70. To celebrate, we had a cosy BBQ. Our 3-generation immediate family, including partners, totalled 19 people. My brother was hosting the festivities and his wife was organising the food. I really wanted to make Dad's birthday cake, so put my hand up early. It was perhaps a little risky attempting an un-tried recipe, but research and lots of reviews led me to a fairly conventional Caramel Mud Cake. I followed the recipe to the letter and hoped for the best.

Because I wanted to make Dad's cake in a number "70", I distributed the batter evenly between a square and a round cake tin (square would make the seven and round would become the zero). This reduced the baking time from 2 hours stated in the recipe, down to just under 1 hour. I really had no idea how long it would take so kept looking at it and stabbing it with a skewer once the tops seemed firm. Luckily both cakes rose to the same (or near enough) height!

The result was beautifully moist, not too sickly sweet and perhaps a little less dense than a shop bought mud cake. The taste was good, but not phenomenal (of course I tasted the off cuts), but I planned to ice and decorate it so I was pretty happy with the outcome. Once the cakes had cooled completely, I outlined the numbers with a sharp knife on the tops, and cut. Because the cakes weren't at all crumbly, they cut perfectly, and unlike a shaped sponge or butter cake, I could ice the same day.

I made the caramel icing from the same recipe. I thought I might need to make 2 batches for the two cakes, but the amount specified was spot on for my half-height cakes. The icing was really tasty, and a recipe I'll be keeping, but being brown, didn't make for a very aesthetically exciting cake. Everyone loves chocolate, so I made a thick genache, let it firm a little in the fridge, then piped around the bottom of the cakes and on the top to outline the numbers. I was really happy with the finished product, and most of the cake was eaten on the night so I'll take that as a compliment. Apologies for the poor quality pic, I finished the cake late at night, my house is quite dimly lit and I don't get along well with flash.

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