My first cake from the Planet Cake cookbook - a chocolate mud cake. Despite the gorgeous and intricate sugar work for which they are famous, I wanted this book for the basic recipes and icing tips in the first section. I love how all the cakes have such even textures and smooth surfaces. (Which, of course, makes sense - you'd need a stable base if you're making funky designs and interesting shapes).
I made this one for a birthday, under the proviso that I wouldn't put icing or any other Firlefanz (fancy, fussy crap) on it.
The mud cake recipe is a melt-and-mix affair, and contains both cocoa and melted chocolate for extra chocolatiness. It also has buttermilk in it, which I reckon gives the finished cake a tender crumb.
The mixture itself is very thick and dark...
... and it smells amazing! The picture in the book makes a very tall cake, and is baked in a 22cm cake tin. I wanted a cake of a normal height, so halved the recipe and baked it in a 20cm tin. It took about half the time to bake as well.
If you're going to be decorating the cake, you have to let it cool completely in the tin so it isn't too soft to support all that icing. We, thankfully, were not decorating it, so we unsprung it from its tin and dug in straight away.
It is absolutely delicious, very rich and moist. You really can taste the chocolate, so it makes sense to use a good one. I loved it fresh out of the oven, when its crackly top was at its best, but I wouldn't complain about a cold slice of it anytime. To be honest, I think it would be a bit too rich if all ganache-d and sugared up, but it was gorgeous just plain.