Mud cakes are one of the best desserts out there for chocolate fans – dense, moist, and very fudgy. And although the cake is small, it’s very rich, but not overly sweet, perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. White chocolate and vanilla pair exceptionally well and taste heavenly, so why not couple them in this tiny lush cake?
I have been very vocal about my dislike for dry cakes, and how much that texture impairs the whole impression of the cake. This little beauty is perfectly moist with plenty of white chocolate and butter. And what is even better, it is so effortless to make, with just one bowl, and a whisk, making it perfect for even beginners in baking. I would not go as far as to say that the soured cream chocolate glaze is the pièce de résistance, but it does add so much to this little cake, and gives such a balance to the flavour.
Speaking of the texture, for this cake to be fudgy and very moist, it needs not to be overbaked. Every oven is different, so I recommend monitoring the baking very closely, even slightly before the indicated baking time in the recipe. If a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, the cake is done, no matter what the timer says. The finished product should be a soft, tender cake, sweet and buttery from the white chocolate.
On a final note, when picking the chocolate for this recipe, go for the real white chocolate. Even though white chocolate is the topic of many debates, it is important to pick a bar that is slightly yellowish, rich with cocoa butter, and not labelled as compound. High quality white chocolate will give a full flavour and will not make the cake greasy after baking.
For the mud cake
200 grams white chocolate
125 grams butter
125 ml whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
100 grams granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
½ teaspoon almond extract
150 grams plain flour
1 ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
For the chocolate glaze
100 grams dark chocolate
50 grams soured cream
Start by taking a medium saucepan and adding in the chopped up butter, broken up real white chocolate, vanilla bean paste, and milk. Place it on medium heat, and let everything melt and blend together, stirring often, especially towards the end of melting. Mix until everything is smooth, and there are no pieces of butter or chocolate undissolved. Set the pan aside to cool down slightly, as this will prevent scorching the eggs.
Add in the sugar and mix vigorously to help it start to dissolve. Add in the eggs, one at the time, whisking well after each one. Add in the almond extract and blend. Finally, sift in the flour and the baking powder, and mix until only combined.
Line the bottom and sides of a round cake pan (18 cm) with baking parchment, pour in the batter, and bake immediately, in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the very centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes or so, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake has cooled, make the dark chocolate glaze. Take the soured cream out of the refrigerator so it comes to room temperature. Melt the chocolate over low heat or in the microwave, and let it cool down slightly. Fold the melted and cooled chocolate into the soured cream gently. If the cream was still cold, the glaze might harden up quickly, but if that happens, place the bowl into a pot of hot water, and gently stir until smooth and pourable. Glaze the whole cake, top and sides, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Yields 8 rich servings.
By Tina Vesić