I often think back to when I was a child and I used to wish time away. It didn’t help that my brother and sister were 8 and 11 years older than me, because I always wanted to be in their shoes experiencing the things they were – and I found it hard to understand that I couldn’t do many of those things because I was much younger.
Now that I am an adult, I really wish I was a child again. If only I had realised that things don’t get more fun, they just get more stressful. Now I have to worry about a mortage, bills, work, etc. All of that I can handle, what I really find hard is the speed at which the clock seems to tick now. With all the responsibilities of life, even though I know the clock is ticking at the same speed, it just doesn’t feel like it.
Last Friday I was sitting at work trying to multitask 100 things, and my mind wandered to Chew Town. It was early march so I figured that Chew Town’s birthday must be sometime soon. Lucky I checked… because it actually was on Friday!
So, Chew Town is officially four years old, and hasn’t time flown. In honour of Chew Town’s blogiversary, I’m bringing you another great celebration cake this year – The Best Flourless Chocolate Mud Cake. But before I get into how I found the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted (seriously!), it’s time for some yearly Thank You’s:
- Thank you to all of the readers of Chew Town. Over the past year, I have had many of you email me with your thoughts and feelings about Chew Town (and even some wonderful recipe ideas) – it has been so great connecting with you all and getting to know you a bit better.
- A massive thank you to the other wonderful members of the food blogging community who are always so supportive. It is wonderful to be on a food journey with all of you.
- Another big thank you to friends and family at work and at home who are all the Chew Town taste testers. I know all of our waistlines have grown as a result, and I am truly grateful for your support and feedback.
- It wouldn’t be an annual thank you, without thanking Scotty. Thanks for your patience, support and ideas to constantly keep Chew Town growing. You have forgone many a warm meal to the camera and allowed me to cook, photograph and edit every waking moment that I am not at work. Chew Town wouldn’t be Chew Town without you.
On to the cake!
This Flourless Chocolate Mud Cake recipe came my way just before Christmas. I was a plus one for a friend of mine at a Christmas thank you event Epicure Catering hosted in Melbourne late last year. It was such a fun event where over 120 people were each given a cake, chocolate ganache icing, and various bits and bobs to learn how to decorate. Epicure’s pasty chef Deniz Karaca was at the helm talking us through how best to ice and decorate a cake and I learnt a great many tips from him.
Deniz was the creator of this chocolate mud cake recipe, and he is one of the world’s very finest pastry chefs. He won the Australian and Australasian legs, and was third in the world final of the World Chocolate Master competition in 2013. So, if you are going to get an amazing chocolate cake recipe from anyone… this is the guy.
After taking my decorated cake away with me, and seeing how quickly it was devoured by Opera Australia’s Melbourne office, I realised I just had to make it again for the blog.
Thankfully, both Epicure and Deniz agreed to let me share this recipe with you. I’ve also added various Chew Town tips on how to bake and decorate your cake with fresh flowers in the recipe. I’m sure with just one bake, you will agree its incredible!!
The Best Flourless Chocolate Mud Cake
Chocolate Flourless Cakes
- 400g Milk
- 135g Almond Meal
- 30g Butter
- 350g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
- 10g Baking Powder
- 300g Eggs
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 630g Cream
- 70g Caster Sugar
- 70g Glucose
- 500g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
- 70g Butter
CHOCOLATE FLOURLESS CAKES
Prepare the tins for the cake by lining the cake rings with baking paper. I used two 18cm tins and one 10cm tin. Cut a strip of towel (I used an old hand towel) to fit around each cake tin and have 3 safety pins ready.
To make the flourless cake, combine milk and almond meal in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil while stirring continually.
Meanwhile melt the chocolate and butter together in short bursts in the microwave stirring between each burst. Take the milk off the heat and combine with the chocolate and butter, then add the eggs, sugar and baking powder and mix well.
Fill the 10cm cake tin 3/4 full with the mixture, then evenly distribute the remaining batter between the two 18cm tins. Wet the three strips of towel with tap water and wrap around the outside of tins securing each with a safety pin (I won't go into the science of this, but it will result in your cakes rising perfectly even).
Bake at 165° Celsius for about 45 minutes (or until a skewer inserted comes out clean - the smaller cake will not need as long to cook.
Set aside to cool and then refrigerate till completely cool - preferably overnight if you have the time.
While the cakes are cooking and cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Bring the cream sugar and glucose together in a saucepan till it boils. Pour it over the chocolate in a large bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes, then combine thoroughly using a whisk. Add the butter and combine again with a whisk. Pour into a large container then cover the surface with gladwrap and store outside the fridge in a cool spot overnight.
To assemble the cake, trim the two larger cakes (if required - I didn't need to with the towel wraps) and cut the smaller cake in half horizontally using a sharp serrated knife.
Place the first large cake onto a round cake board and spread about 1/3 of the ganache onto the top of the cake. Place the second cake on top and press it down separately. Do the same with the two smaller cakes (using less ganache in between the smaller cakes) so you have two separate cakes, one small and one large.
Crumb coat both cakes on the outside with some of the ganache. Allow the crumb coat to set for a few minutes, then apply the rest of the frosting to each cake, pulling it lightly across the base layer. Transfer the smaller cake to the top of the larger cake and decorate as you like - I used fresh flowers, red currants and crushed pistachios. Rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
A crumb coat is a very thin layer of ganache that is applied to a cake first to trap all the loose crumbs on the surface of a cake before your final layer of ganache is applied. It allows the final layer to apply smoothly and cleanly, without picking up a single crumb from the cake itself.
If you would like to decorate with flowers, berries and crushed pistachios as I did, please note that the stems of fresh flowers cannot be inserted directly into the cake unless they were grown organically with no pesticides. If they haven't been (like mine) then you can use a method where you tape the stems with floral tape and insert them into the cake with straws (like I did with help from this video tutorial here).