“Is there anything more comforting and pleasurable than chocolate cake?”
It is the universal cure of ills, heartbreak, sugar cravings and (for me at least), boredom. Throughout high school and my twenties, chocolate cake was like my culinary crack. I use to spend my meagre high school savings buying myself a whole mud cake after school just so I could eat as much as I wanted. When I was broke and desperate, I turned to boxed cake mixes. Not as good as the bakeries naturally but it still did nicely to satisfy my moods.
[Would you like one dollop or two?]
Speaking of which, I just realised that I haven’t used one in at least a decade. Not that I’m judging boxed cake mixes too harshly of course; after all, it did inspire me to go out and actually learn how to bake from scratch (I guess you could say, it was the genesis of Citrus and Candy yes?). It’s just that with recipes like these that are super easy, there really isn’t any excuse to use the ‘instant’ boxed stuff anymore. And with the ones that I’ve tried, I still had to drag out my electric mixer out. This recipe is pretty much faster and it doesn’t need anything more than a whisk and a stir.
[Swirling like a boss. I demand swirls!]
This is a Chocolate Baileys Mud Cake topped with an ultra smooth and silky ganache and it will happily satisfy all sorts of hardcore chocolate cravings. Though I definitely didn’t plan to pander to the St. Patrick’s Day masses with the inclusion of Baileys Irish Cream (which lends a subtle but sweet taste and fragrance). It just so happened that Mother Superior came back from a holiday cruise with two huge bottles simply because, “they were sooo cheap!”. But as luck would have it, she failed to check the expiration date first. So obviously I had to help her out in using it all up right? She drank. I baked. Then we both ate.
[Momma always said not to play with my food but I think chocolate cake is the exception]
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g brown sugar
- 50g Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
- 180ml Baileys Irish Cream Whiskey
- 170g plain flour
- 1.5 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 200g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 100ml cream
- 100ml Baileys Irish Cream
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 Tbl / 15g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- Preheat oven to 160°C. In a pan, add the butter, chocolate, sugars, cocoa powder and Baileys. When chocolate and butter has melted, whisk together to combine making sure to get rid of any lumps of sugar or cocoa powder. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grease and line a 20-21cm round cake tin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Add the eggs to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gently fold in the sifted flour mix until free of lumps. Scrape into cake tin then bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (ideally you want to see some moist crumbs stuck to it. This is one cake you don't want to over-bake so better to be a little under than over). The tops of the cake will be a little cracked but this is normal for a mud cake (you'll be trimming the tops and eating them anyway!).
- Remove from oven and cool in tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding and cooling it down completely. Trim the tops of the cake to level.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring the cream, Baileys and the salt to a simmer in a pan. Pour over the chocolate and sit for a minute. Gently stir to combine then beat in the butter.
- Set aside at room temperature and cool until it is thick enough to spread over your cooled cake. Gently stir the ganache occasionally as it cools to keep the temperature even and the ganache smooth.
- For the ganache: feel free to use all Baileys if you prefer it boozier. Alternatively you could just use all cream for a virgin ganache :)