A few weeks ago my friend Senja and her boyfriend had us over for dinner. They served up a delicious Finnish soup (Senja hails from Helsinki!), fragrant with allspice and dill, followed by a glorious chocolate mud cake for dessert… And as soon as I saw it, my heart was all aflutter. I’m a sucker for chocolate mud cake. We sat at the table and continued to help ourselves to ‘just another sliver’ until the cake was demolished.
And what with Valentine’s day coming up and everything, I knew I would have to make one for the blog. I know – the trials I endure, right?
When it comes to desserts, I’m firmly in the raw dough/batter eater camp. I looooovee raw cookie dough/cake batter. In university, I used to bake cookies for the sole purpose of having dough to eat. I’d literally wrap up about half of it and keep it in the fridge to snack on. I know, I know – salmonella!! Food poisoning!!! You BARBARIAN!!!! Valid points, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend eating half a batch of cookies raw, but it’s been years and I’m totally fine. Just saying!
All of that to say that chocolate mud cake is pretty much my spirit cake. It’s cooked, so no salmonella for me, but it still might as well be raw for how gooey it is. That’s a pretty ideal situation right there.
(I mean, just look at it!)
I decided to combine Senja’s recipe with this one, which I used to make a lot a couple years ago. In Senja’s recipe, she specifically calls for the eggs and the sugar to be whipped until they’re nice and white and fluffy – but being arrogant/impatient, the first time I made this cake I skipped this step and it was – wait for it – too gooey. Mud cake isn’t really supposed to rise, but this was too much, even for me, seasoned cake batter eater that I am.
Obviously Pieter and I still ate it.
But I knew I couldn’t put up the recipe I’d jotted down up on the blog, and so I set out to make the cake again.
Let’s just say Pieter and I have eaten a lot of cake recently. 😛 But I’m very happy with the recipe I’m sharing here today, and if you like super gooey mud cake, and if you like chocolate, and if you like the kind of cake that you have to scoop out with a spoon, then you will love this too. In the spirit of upcoming Valentine’s day, I paired it with raspberries in these shots, but we also (off camera) ate it with lemon sorbet, which was a delightful contrast, and Senja served hers with puréed mango, which was also delicious. The possibilities abound!
A note: these pictures are deceptive. You will NOT be able to cut perfect slices of this cake when it comes out of the oven – you just won’t. The inside will be all melty and gooey and muddy, and it will be delicious, but it won’t make for attractive slices. To get these slices, you have to chill the cake in the fridge. Which is also delicious – but it’s definitely a toss-up. Warm, gooey cake all over your face/plate, vs. chilled, slightly fudgier cake that holds its shape better. You may just need to make more than one to experiment and find your preference…
* Vanilla extract would also be fine! ** I think any size would work as long as the pan can accommodate all of the batter. I wouldn't go for too much wider, though, as then you'll be left with only a very thin layer of gooey cake.