Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mud Cake, Mississippi Mud Cake, & More!

What's a Mud Cake? I have many recipes for them, and I've made several, but I hadn't really thought about what exactly it is. Mud Cake is relative newcomer to the cake scene, seeming to have popped up somewhere in the 1970s when it was all the rage! The first mud cakes came from Brownies and Fudge, and originally contained marshmallow (or at least a marshmallow topping). Other derivatives of this cake are the Mississippi Mud Pie and Dirt Cake. A mud cake is a very dense, tight crumbed cake. It's made by mixing liquids into dry ingredients. You melt chocolate, butter, and other liquids in a saucepan, then add flour, cocoa, etc. Of course, like anything else, there are always variations. Here's one that adds Rum. There's another below that adds Bourbon.

(from Epicurious)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
5 Tbsp bourbon (preferably 80 proof)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 275°F.
Butter 2 (7-8 inch) springform pans and line bottom of each with a round of wax paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess. Wrap bottom and 1 inch up side on outside of each springform pan with foil (to catch drips).
Melt chocolates and butter with coffee in a 4-quart saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.
Beat in bourbon, eggs, and vanilla.
Sift in flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and stir until batter is smooth (batter will be thin).
Divide batter between springform pans (about 3 cups batter in each).
Bake cakes in middle of oven 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a tester inserted in centers comes out with crumbs adhering. Remove from oven and cool in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of each pan, then remove sides. When cool, remove pan bottoms and wax paper.

Sometimes a Mud Cake is made as a sheet cake.. sometimes just a small single cake.  Here's an easy recipe from Real Simple

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the pan
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus 
more for the pan
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/4 tsp fine salt
3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and line 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan with parchment. Butter parchment and dust lightly with flour.
Melt butter and chocolate in microwave in 1-minute increments, on half power, stirring every minute, until shiny and smooth. Stir in salt and 
set aside.
Whisk together egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of sugar until thick and creamy.
Mix egg whites in separate, clean bowl with electric mixer on high until foamy. Gradually add  remaining sugar, tablespoon at time, whipping continuously until whites are thick and glossy and hold soft peak, 3 to 5 minutes. Fold egg yolk mixture into 
chocolate. Add 1/3 of chocolate mixture to egg whites and fold in gently, until marbled. Taking care to keep the batter light and airy, fold in flour in 2 parts, alternating with remaining chocolate, until evenly combined.
Spoon batter into pan and 
bake until crispy on top and  toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cut into 
wedges and serve slightly warm with whipped cream.

Here's a classic Mississippi Mud Cake from Paula Deen

2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa 1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag miniature marshmallows

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Combine sugar, salt, and flour in large mixing bowl.
Bring butter, oil, cocoa, and 1/4 cup water to boil in saucepan. Add to flour mixture.
Beat together eggs, baking soda, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to chocolate mixture, mix well, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes.
While  cake is baking, make ticing by melting butter in cocoa and milk over low heat. Bring mixture to boil, then remove from heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar. Slowly mix in  nuts and vanilla.
Take cake from oven, and when it cools a bit, cover with miniature marshmallows.
Pour warm icing over cake and  marshmallows.
Cool cake before serving.

1 comment:

Libby Dodd said...

What fun!
They all sound delicious.