Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of taking part in the Brussels Buttles Great Bake Challenge, courtesy of the great organisation of whyaminotskinny.
It was a wonderful afternoon, with 8 ladies putting forward their chocolate delights, and even more people turning up to do the ‘judging’. It was a hard afternoon, tasting 8 chocolate cakes, but, it was worth it for such a good cause. Buttle is a charity which supports young people through education, training, and into work. If you want to find out more about this charity, and some of their initiatives, you can check them out here.
And the results? I came second, with my Chocolate Mud Cake, below is the recipe. I got some wonderful comments though:
“Emma’s cake epitomises the theme of CHOCOLATE, more than any of the other entrants. Clearly it was a labour of love too.”
“I loved the strong chocolate flavour. You fed my eyes, not just my taste. Also, teh consistency was perfect: melted in my mouth but did not crumble when cut.”
“Moist, chocolatey, moreish, yum.”
If you are in Brussels on Sunday 22nd September and you want to take part in the next event (the theme is Scones and Jam), then don’t hesitate to let us know.
Chocolate Mud Cake
Makes 2 x 7inch (3 inch deep) tins
For the Mud Cake:
- 440ml oil (one that has no flavour, like Soya Oil)
- 400g dark chocolate
- 320ml full fat milk
- 250g self-raising flour
- 250g plain flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 800g caster sugar
- 8 eggs
- 200ml buttermilk
Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
In a saucepan place the oil, chocolate and milk, and place over a low heat. Melt the chocolate, stirring continuously. Once the chocolate has melted and everything is well combined allow to cool.
In a Kenwood Chef Mixer bowl, Sift all the dry ingredients. Add all the wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk and chocolate mixture),and mix until it is all combined.
Remove from the oven, and place on a wire rack, and leave to cool.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 300ml Cream
- 800g Dark Couverture Chocolate (I used Callebaut).
Heat the cream until boiling. Pour over the chocolate and cover for 1 minute. Stir until well combined.
- It is really important that the cakes are totally cold before you cut them, otherwise the chocolate ganache will not set, and you will have a lot more crumbs, which will make it more difficult to get a professional finish.
- Cut the tops off each cake, until they are even. Then cut each cake in half.
- Place a little ganache on the bottom of the plate you want to use, and place the first layer on top. This will help to fix the cake to the plate. Cover the top of the first layer with a little ganache and add the second layer. Repeat, for the second and the third layer, ensuring that the last layer you put on the cake, has a bottom side of one of the cakes facing up at the top. This will ensure that you have a flat top.
- Using a palette knife, cover the sides of the cake, trying to make it as smooth as possible.
- Once all of your cake is covered, and smooth, place int he fridge for a little while, to allow it to set.
- Place a little of the ganache into a piping bag, or make your own piping bag using greaseproof paper. Ensure you have a small hole, and pipe a design around the side. I did this freehand, copying a design from a napkin.
TIP: start to collect designs that you like, from napkins, wrapping paper, lace. This will give you lots of ideas for designs that you can pipe.
- To make the chocolate flower, I used chocolate icing sugar, and created the flower, using the techniques found in a previous blog post here.