My Easter cardamom coffee mud (alternative wedding) cake

With the long weekend stretching ahead of me, I finally had time to do a bit of baking. I’ve got a vast collection of food magazines with post it notes sticking out of them marking ‘must bake’ items. A cake in a back issue of Olive magazine has been playing on my mind recently so the decision of what to bake for my family this Easter was a real no-brainer…the cake of choice…a very naughty looking cardamom coffee mud cake…

In my opinion you really can’t go wrong with a cake that contains strong cardamom infused coffee and no less than 600g of dark chocolate!

To make it you need…

12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and pods discarded

200ml strong coffee

200g dark chocolate

200g unsalted butter

3 eggs

80ml soured cream

400g golden caster sugar

170g plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

30g cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Lighty crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar before adding them to a saucepan with the strong coffee. Simmer this fragrant concoction for about 10 minutes until it has reduced down to 120ml.

Melt the chocolate and the butter and add in the reduced coffee and cardamom mixture.

Beat the eggs, soured cream and sugar together. Add this to the chocolatey, coffee goo and stir until combined.

Finally sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into the bowl and fold it in before pouring the complete mix into the prepared tin.

Bake for 1 hour, check whether it’s cooked by inserteing a skewer or sharp knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s ready, if not, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Whilst it’s cooling you can prepare your ganache mud icing…beware…reading any further may cause hardening of the arteries!

To make your mud frosting you need…

400g dark chocolate

100g unsalted butter

1tbsp golden syrup

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan and then add the butter in small lumps so that is melts into the mix. Add the golden syrup and stir until smooth. Leave the mud to cool until spreadable. This requires patience, which I don’t have, in my haste I made the mistake of trying to hurry the process along by putting it in the fridge…this accelerated the process too much and when I tried to spread the icing onto the cake it hardened into a big unspreadable blob! PANIC set in but with the help of my Mum, a spatula and a jug of boiling water I managed to avoid total disaster! You should learn from my mistakes but if you happen to have this issue too, all you need to do it warm a metal spatula or knife in boiling water and gradually smooth the icing over the cake, do a bit at a time and then reheat your implement and work on smoothing another section of icing. I’ve learnt my lesson…next time I’ll just leave the mud to cool gradually (out of the fridge) it would benefit from still being fairly gooey for optimum spreading consistency.

Cut the cake in half and spread a layer of mud in the middle before sandwiching it and coating it all over with a thick layer of amazing, so bad it’s good for you, muddy ganache!

and hey presto…it wasn’t a complete disaster and was still a goregously dense chocolate cake with a cardamom coffee twist and a coronary inducing coating…mmmmm!

I got a bit carried away with my decorating and as if the chocolate ganache frosting wasn’t enough I decided to kitsch it up with some Easter decorations and a huge gold bow so it ended up looking like some kind of alternative wedding cake :)…

As a perfectionist, I wasn’t 100% happy with the finished appearance of the cake but it turned out to be absolutely delicious. It only contained only the tiniest amount of flour, which meant that it was amazingly dense and fudgy, even my sister who doesn’t like cake, loved it!

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