Saturday, 12 March 2016

Sky High Mud Cake with Party Pink Icing

Four layers of dense and fudgy chocolate mud cake, covered in sweet Swiss Meringue Buttercream and topped with luscious, rich chocolate ganache drips and outlandish decorations. 
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Happy birthday! Party time!
I've always loved birthdays and never understood why people didn't. What's not to love? Everyone wishes you well, people give you presents,  calories agree not to count as their present to you and...there's cake. Any day that you get to have cake is a good day.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Those Smarties didn't find their way on to the cake...but they did find their way into my tummy.
And, in part, my love of birthdays comes from my mum. The other parts of my love for comes from cake and presents, but a big chunk is from mum. My mum likes birthdays and Christmas because she's awesome. And what does an awesome mum need on her birthday? An awesome big pink cake, just for her!
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Lush cake mix.
We have a go-to chocolate cake for birthdays in our family, but once in a while it's time to do something different. So I decided to make a mud cake. I wanted to make it stacked to the sky so the firmness of a mud cake was well suited.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
I could happily drown in this.
I decided to use Swiss Meringue Buttercream to get the cleanest line possible on the side of the cake. I coloured it bright pink because it looks awesome. This cake is all about awesome. Because my mum is awesome.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
This marbled chocolate is so easy and looks so cool.
I'll stop using the word 'awesome' now.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
I definitely poured too much chocolate on top, trying to take photos.
But, this cake is OTT. Inspired in no small way by the cake legend Katherine Sabbath, I decorated the top with bits of broken meringue, silver and pink cachous, dripping chocolate ganache and marbled chocolate shards.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Oh, and French macarons!
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
A spacescape of sweets.
I think it's a spectacular looking treat, however it couldn't be easier! Mud cake doesn't require any creaming of sugar and butter, it's dense and fudgy quality comes from melting the butter and chocolate together in a pan (with a few other ingredients), then beating in some eggs and the flour. This recipe also has sour cream in it which makes it especially moist.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Cool card, huh.
You know, why do people hate the word moist so much? I'm so tired of hearing how gross it is. It's just a word! Annnyyywwwaaaayyy...
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Drippy and awesome. Oh shit, I said awesome again.
Once the cakes have been baked, trim the excess and then halve each layer to create 4 even sized cakes. For this cake and the OTT styling, I decided to use a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The consistency of SMB is smooth and great for tall cakes.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
More is more.
Then it was about the toppings. I decided to buy some macarons and store bought meringue kisses along with some coloured cachous. I marbled some dark chocolate with some white chocolate that I coloured using oil-based colouring and cut shards to place atop the cake.
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Those are water balloons blown up. So cute.
And then, get creative. The great thing about this look is that imperfect and asymmetric decorations actually add to the look. Have a bit of fun and remember more is more!
Sky High Mud Cake Cassie Cakes Recipe
Birthdays are THE BEST!

Sky High Mud Cake with Party Pink Icing
Cake adapted from Bakers Corner
For clear instructions on making Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I always recommend Sweetapolita's fantastic post

Prep time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 90 mins

Total time:  2 hrs 

Servings: 12 very large servings

Chocolate Mud Cake

400g dark chocolate, chopped
400g butter, chopped
2 ½ cups (550g) brown sugar
1 cup (250mL) hot water
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 cup (100g) cocoa
6 eggs, lightly beaten
300g sour cream
3 cups (450g) plain flour
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour

Chocolate Ganache
300g dark chocolate

350ml heavy cream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
7 large (225g) egg whites, free range 
1 ½ cups (375g) caster sugar
2 ½ cups (510g) butter, cut into 2cm cubes - should be cool, not cold. Take butter out of fridge 10 -15 minutes before required.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pink gel food colouring

Marbled Chocolate
300g dark chocolate
150g white chocolatePink oil-based food colouring

Various toppings eg macarons, coloured jimmies, cachous, sprinkles, smarties

Chocolate Mud Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 140ºC.
  2. Grease and line two 20cm/8 inch round cake pans.
  3. Add dark chocolate, butter, sugar, water, instant coffee and cocoa in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate has melted.
  4. Cool 10 minutes then transfer mixture to a large bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, combine eggs and sour cream in a separate bowl then add to the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to combine
  6. Sift both flours into the chocolate mixture then stir to combine.
  7. Divide mixture evenly among prepared pans.
  8. Bake cakes on same shelf in preheated over for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out mostly clean - there may be a little moist cake mixture on theskewer, this is normal for mud cake – do not overcook.
  9. Stand cakes in pans 15 minutes to cool slightly, before transferring the cakes to wire racks to cool completely.
  10. Use a serrated knife to trim and split each cake in half.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
  1. Melt the chocolate in a large microwave proof bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  2. Once melted, add cream and stir to combine until smooth.
  3. Allow to cool slightly. Ganache should be pourable but not hot.
  4. Set aside until required.

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

    1. Wipe out the metal bowl of stand mixer with a paper towel moistened with lemon juice to ensure the bowl is grease free.
    2. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of rapidly simmering water, whisking gently until temperature reaches 60°C or until sugar is dissolved.
    3. Take the bowl off the heat and put onto stand mixer. Whip on a medium speed until the egg whites have cooled to room temperature. This will take 8 - 10 minutes, or more. Do not add butter until bowl is neutral to the touch.
    4. Switch over to paddle attachment and with mixer on low speed add butter cubes one by one in 30 second intervals until all butter has been added. 
    5. If the mixture becomes lumpy and looks like scrambled eggs, do not panic. Keep mixing on a low speed and the mix will come together and become smooth. 
    6. Add vanilla and a small amount of pink food colouring to reach desired base shade.
    7. Set aside until required.
    Marbled Chocolate

      1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
      2. Melt white and dark chocolate in small, microwave proof bowls, 30 seconds at a time for each bowl.
      3. Once chocolate is smooth, add colouring to white chocolate til desired colour is achieved.
      4. Pour dark chocolate over prepared sheet, then add now pink chocolate in random places on top of the dark chocolate, then drag a metal skewer through the chocolates to create a marble effect.
      5. Sprinkle crushed meringues and cachous over chocolate.
      6. Once chocolate has cooled, cut into shards with a sharp knife.
      1. Place one of the layers on a cake board, using a dab of Swiss meringue buttercream to adhere the cake to the board.
      2. Spread approximately 1 cup of SMB on top of the cake and smooth the icing til even and smooth then place second layer of cake on top.
      3. Repeat til all cakes are layered
      4. Add approximately 1 cup of SMB on top and spread until the entire cake is covered in a thin layer of SMB; the crumb coat.
      5. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
      6. Remove cake from fridge and add a thicker layer of icing and smooth using cake scrapers and offset spatulas. Continue adding layers of icing to cake til SMB is very smooth.
      7. Slowly pour ganache on top of cake; using a small offset spatula, tease the ganache into long drips over the sides of the cake til desired look is achieved.
      8. Decorate top of cake with macarons, marbled chocolate, crushed meringues and sprinkles.


        1. I am craving for this beautiful sky high Mud cake with party pink icing. The theme is superb. Thanks for this brilliant idea. My mom’s birthday is about to come and wanted to do something special for her. Going to host a party for her at best vintage party venues in NYC. Hoping, she will like my arrangements.

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