In the words of Slim Dusty, 'Oh what a terrible place is a pub with no beer.' Little did Slim know that in singing those famous words they can be applied to many situations...
...a library with no books...
...a zoo with no animals, and most importantly...
...a birthday with no cake.
I get really excited for Birthdays. It means that, while making a mess in the kitchen, I can let my creative juices flow to create a special cake for my special someone. This time it's my boyfriend who gets spoilt with this amazing Cherry Ripe Mud Cake.
A big 23 years old, I knew he would want something chocolate (as I think it's about the only flavoured cake he really likes), something indulgent and definitely something that doesn't get made everyday (to make him feel really special).
Mud cake was the only thing that came to mind and while it might scare most people, it really is one of the simplest cakes to make. This one is extra special with the addition of cherry ripes. Once cooked, the cherry ripe gives the soft, dense cake an added crunch. Most definitely ensuring it's place in the indulgence ranks is maintained.
(Please note...for those on a diet, you might want to stick clear).
My boyfriend is a mad deer hunter. But due to unforeseen circumstances he is unable to practice his passion at the moment. So, as decoration I thought I would bring the deer to him.
For those wanting to do this (or a symbol of your own choice) simply place the picture under some grease proof paper and use a piping bag filled with chocolate to trace the outline. Once you have the outline, just fill in the gaps with the chocolate. Allow to cool before placing on the cake.
I wasn't expecting quite the reaction I got from this decoration but I can guarantee that combined with this cake, you'll definitely be getting praise till the cows come home.
1 Tablespoon Instant Coffee
400ml Coconut Milk
200g Dark Chocolate, broken up
2 cups White Sugar
3/4 cup Self-raising Flour
1 cup Plain Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Vanilla
150g Cherry Ripe (about 3 chocolate bars), coarsely chopped
175g Dark Chocolate
To make the cake...
Preheat oven to 140°C. Grease a deep round cake pan; line the base with a single circle layer of baking paper and the sides with a double layer (this will prevent the sides from over cooking)
In a saucepan, melt together the butter, coffee, coconut milk, chocolate and sugar until smooth and glossy. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Sift together the dry ingredients and whisk into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, vanilla and half the Cherry Ripe, mix well.
Pour the mixture into prepared pan, scatter with remaining Cherry Ripe pieces and bake for about 1 3/4 hours or until the skewer comes out clean. For added protection, I covered the cake with foil about halfway through to ensure the cake didn't burn. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out, top-side down, onto a wire rack.
I used a ganache to ice this cake. The instructions can be found here: http://www.hideandgocook.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/marbled-chocolate-cheesecake.html
A handy hint, place small pieces of baking paper around the edge of the serving plate (as show below). Make sure they are easy to pull out once the cake is placed on top.
This little trick (which I picked up from Nigella) helps to keep the plate clean while you ice the cake.
Un-iced cake with the baking paper
Baking Paper removed and hey presto a clean plate :)