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Chocolate Mudcake with Ganache and Fresh Berries

Food

Another month means another TASTY TUESDAY, and this week we’re in sugary, sweet territory with a month of delectable cakes from Melbourne’s home baked cake queen, Cassie Morris of Fig & Salt.

In fact, Cassie creates all kinds of treats, both savoury and sweet… but she’s probably most famous for her cakes. Her decadent layered desserts, piled high with ganache, cream, toffee shards, meringue and fresh berries and flowers have made her pretty famous on Instagram. I guess when you bake delicious treats day in and day out, it’s pretty likely you’ll end up winning lots of friends!

Cassie kicks off this series with one of her perennial crowd pleasers – a rich mud cake with dark chocolate ganache, crumbled meringue and fresh berries.

6th October, 2015

Cassandra Morris of Fig and Salt with her decadent chocolate mud cake. Black rimmed plate by Shiko, Marigolde Linen Napery from Safari Living and Tyler Hays large plate from BBDW. Recipe by Morris of Fig and Salt. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Cassandra Morris of Fig and Salt with her decadent chocolate mud cake. Black rimmed plate by Shiko, Marigolde Linen Napery from Safari Living and Tyler Hays large plate from BBDW. Recipe by Morris of Fig and Salt. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Mud cake ingredients. Small dish in foreground by The Fortynine Studio. Recipe by Morris of Fig and Salt. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Mud Cake with frosting crushed meringue and fresh berries. Marigolde linen throw as tablecloth from Safari Living and Tyler Hays large plate from BBDW. Recipe by Morris of Fig and Salt. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Cassandra Morris of Fig & Salt
Tuesday 6th October 2015

I am a country girl at heart. I have the fondest memories growing up of staying with my Nan at her farm, and as soon as I stepped foot in her house I would be hit with the sweetest smelling aroma of her baking. I loved watching her in the kitchen, it was her happy place and to this day her jelly lamingtons are one of my favourite sweet treats. Without a doubt, my passion for food comes from her and my mum. They are the best cooks I know, they cook from the heart and I guess I have them to thank for my love affair with food!

I still remember my first official cake order, it was for a close friend’s birthday and it was a disaster (the cake not the birthday)! I learnt many things that afternoon: firstly make sure you have all the ingredients before baking; don’t ever ice a cake warm (it’s just messy), and don’t turn your back on toffee as it burns badly! Her cake was a culmination of many errors, but it was edible and she loved it! That’s all that matters, right?

I like to think of Fig & Salt as a bit of this and that, combining the yin and yang of food and bringing it all together. Whether it be a grazing table, a modern take on a trail mix bar, corporate food box, gatherings to celebrate an important occasion or a spectacular cake – there’s nothing like real food to bring people together.

I hope you enjoy my recipes for this month’s Tasty Tuesday! First up we have a mud cake with chocolate ganache, crushed meringue and fresh berries.

My aunty gave me this recipe many years ago and it has been a staple of mine ever since. It’s a super easy and quick cake to make. It’s rich and super delicious. I highly recommend using a good quality chocolate (my favourite is the Belgian brand Callebaut). I think it makes such a difference. A few months ago I did a wedding dessert bar, and this is one of the cakes I did for the bride. Topped with lashings of chocolate ganache, crushed meringue and fresh berries it’s always a crowd pleaser!

Note: I doubled this recipe below to create the large cake as seen in this shoot.

Ingredients

For the mudcake (makes one regular sized cake, double these ingredients to create the large cake as pictured above)

  • 1 1⁄2 cups boiling water
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 250g unsalted butter, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 220g dark good quality cooking chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1⁄4 cup Dutch cocoa

For the ganache

  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter

To decorate

  • Fresh meringues (store bought from your local cake shop or grocery store)
  • Raspberries, cherries or any yummy berries

Method

For the mud cake

Preheat oven to 170°C.

Grease, line and flour the side of a 22cm round cake tin.

In large saucepan place butter, chocolate, sugar and boiling water. Gently combine over low heat until all ingredients are melted completely. Let cool.

Place flour, cocoa, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and vinegar in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment, and pour cooled chocolate mixture on top. On low speed, beat until all combined and there are no pockets of flour through the mixture.

Pour mixture into the greased and lined cake tin, and bake for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.

For the ganache

Add the cream to a saucepan and bring to the boil, then lower heat.

Add the chocolate and stir until melted and combined with the cream. Cool slightly and fold through the butter. Let cool and thicken before icing your cake.

To decorate

Make sure your ganache or icing is light and fluffy. This is really important as it makes it easier to ice.

Technically I will ice the cake twice when decorating. Firstly ice your cake by spreading ganache over the top of your cake, and if desired bringing down the sides of your cake.

Then I ice the cake by making decorative ganache droplets that sit on top of the cake. If you’re game to attempt this (it’s not too hard!), fill a piping bag half full with the icing – definitely not more than two thirds full. Twist and hold the end of the piping bag with one hand, and rest the tip of the bag in your other hand.

Squeeze the icing at the top of the bag very gently to loosen any air bubbles. Do a few test runs to get some confidence.

When you feel comfortable, hold the bag vertically with the nozzle close to your cake, squeeze the icing out gently to make a dot the desired size, stop squeezing, release some pressure and draw up sharply to make your tip.

Lastly, top the cake with crushed meringues (you can buy these at your local cake shop or even grocery store) and fresh berries.

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