Chocolate Mud Cake

Last weekend it was my sister’s 18th birthday, so a seriously chocolatey cake was in order. Enter: a fluffy chocolate sponge, smothered in 70% dark chocolate ganache and edged with milk and white chocolate fingers. I completed the mud bath with five little fondant piggies on top – but you could have more or less, or choose a different animal altogether!

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Whilst those little piggies bathed in chocolate mud awaiting consumption, we spent the afternoon whizzing through muddy woodland on off-road Segways. If you’re anything like me and have some serious balance issues, the mere prospect of Segwaying (that’s probably not even a verb, but it is now) may send you into sheer panic.

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For the first five minutes or so, I was utterly hopeless; to the point that any potential spectators might have wondered how I could legally drive, if I couldn’t operate a simple Segway. Fast forward five minutes (and a few flattened cones) and I was beginning to feel more at home speeding round the little test circuit. A few loops later, and we were heading off into the forest – breezing through ferns, bouncing (quite literally) over tree trunks and going up hills as fast as the off-road tyres could carry us.

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Once we were deemed sufficiently competent, the speed cap was deactivated – and we were free to whizz along at a cool 12-15 mph! By the time our hour was up Vicki and Laurence had had a couple of close encounters with muddy bogs, Mum had reached a top speed of 3 mph (she was terrified of the increased speed!) and we left eagerly anticipating our next Segway adventure!

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In the evening, this cake went down an absolute treat – it’s a diabetic’s nightmare and a chocoholic’s dream. I’d wanted to make a cake edged with chocolate fingers for ages, and this was the perfect occasion. All credit for the design goes to Google Images/ Pinterest, as upon googling “pig cake” I fell head over heels for these adorable farmyard friends and couldn’t think of a better way to top the cake!

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Recipe | Chocolate Mud Cake

Ingredients:

  • 150g sugar
  • 125g margarine
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate (buy the best you can afford, as you will taste the difference; I went for Tesco 70% dark chocolate, £1 a bar)
  • 3 x 114 packets of chocolate fingers (or 57 individual fingers, to be precise)
  • ½ a 500g packet of fondant icing (either buy ready-dyed or dye your own, in which case you’ll also need red food colouring)

Method:

  1. Begin by making the cake. In a large bowl, whisk the margarine and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder to the mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. Add the milk.
  5. Grease and lightly flour 2 20cm cake tins. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins, and smooth the top with the back of a spoon (or a spatula, if you have one to hand).
  6. Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Aga users without a baking oven: as above, but reduce the time to 15/16 minutes.
  7. Whilst the cake is baking, prepare the ganache. Chop the chocolate up into small pieces – the smaller the better. Alternatively, you could grate the chocolate but this takes considerably more time! Heat the cream in a bain-marie (= bowl over a saucepan of hot water); once hot (though not curdling), tip in the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has dissolved. Put to one side and allow to cool; if you’re low on time, you can put it in the fridge to speed up the process, but this will slightly alter the glossy appearance of the ganache.
  8. Once you’ve removed the cakes from the oven, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
  9. Transfer one cake to a plate, and smother the top in ganache. Put the other cake on top (hence ‘sandwich cake’) and cover that in ganache. Spread ganache around the side of the cake too.
  10. Arrange chocolate fingers around the edge of the cake. I had two packets of milk chocolate fingers and one of white chocolate fingers, so had to alternate the two varieties!
  11. For the fondant piggies, either: buy ready-made pink fondant icing; or, buy white icing and use a small amount of red food colouring to make it pink (I opted for the latter). To make the pigs, simply take a spoonful of fondant icing and roll to make a ball; a medium sized ball will suffice for the body, a slightly smaller one for the head and tiny ones for the trotters. Use a cocktail stick to add eyes, smiles, belly buttons etc. If you feel like it, smear some of the ganache on the piggies for the ultimate mud bath cake.
  12. If you have any ganache left over, don’t let it go to waste! Take a spoonful of the ganache, roll it into a ball and then dip in cocoa powder to make tasty truffles.

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Tips:

  • For Segway fun in Cheshire, I’d highly recommend Cheshire Segway at Blakemere – all the fun of a Segway, with none of the fear of being attacked by oncoming traffic!
  • You could substitute the chocolate fingers for KitKats, Twix or other chocolate bars/ biscuits of a similar shape.
  • When making the fondant pigs, you can add a little icing sugar to the fondant to make it less sticky and easier to roll.
  • This cake keeps for 3 days, covered; best stored in the fridge if it’s warm, as otherwise the fondant has a tendency to melt.
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7 thoughts on “Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. My Peppa Pig and chocolate-loving niece and nephews would adore this cake!
    I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to look through your baking posts, but now I’m hooked. Why are you not on GBBO? Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Give it a go one day- it’s one of those cakes that takes minimal effort but looks pretty good! You can always substitute the ganache for chocolate buttercream too 🙂 That’s really sweet of you (no pun intended!) though I don’t think my baking repertoire would quite make the cut!

      Like

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