Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spring-time mud madness

I just love spring.  Days begin to feel warmer, new growth appears in the garden (where my one year old pup hasn't already demolished the plants) and if you're in Melbourne, it has rained, and rained, and rained.

My daughter Olive has loved it - lots of muddy puddles to jump in.  Clearly its time to whip up a bunch of mudcakes!

Mud cakes are the modern wedding cake decorator's salvation.  They can be baked a couple of days in advance, allowing plenty of time for elaborate decoration.  Mud cakes tolerate fridge and freezer storage and being particularly dense, can be reliably stacked on top of one another or carved into fun shapes like teapots.

Mudcakes are also ridiculously easy to make - melt and mix. Gently heat your chocolate, butter and milk together and allow to cool.  Whisk up your eggs and combine with the cooled chocolate mix and then pour into sifted dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly, pour into cupcake papers and bake.  Voila!

There are plenty of recipes out there but the one I've had particular success with is from Exclusively Food.  As with all recipes, your own oven will determine the appropriate cooking time.  My tiny, old Bosch oven works better with no fan and at about 20 degrees less than the stated recipe. 

In keeping with the spring time theme, the cakes are decorated with a swirl of green buttercream (hinting at lush foliage) and a dainty sugar flower.

The perfect springtime treat to be enjoyed after lots of mad muddy puddle jumping!