Thursday, 19 April 2012
Marshmellowy Marvellous - Mississippi Mud Cake
Whilst it might be a nice idea for me to pretend to have some kind of sophistication, the fact of the matter is that I haven't. I am trash, it has to be said and this is the kind of pud which appeals to my lack of sophistication, being that it is messy, not massively attractive looking and generally lacking in finesse. Don't expect to be able to eat this without getting it all over your face, fingers, if you're me, in your hair, and quite possibly on your clothes (particularly if you're Lola or Finn) but, despite the disadvantages, the massive, massive plus point is that this tastes so joyously good, you would be daft to resist.
This recipe is easy. I ended up making this for children and mums at our most recent 'ladies wot lunch and kids wot run riot' afternoon. I had grand designs on taking something more befitting of our 'ladies' status, but a 'non setting tart' disaster meant that plan B had to swing into action. This was plan B. It could so easily be plan A.
This was enjoyed, a lot, by the mums. And the kids too.
The recipe is another adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. A stunningly good book on cakes of thr American South. My alterations were to fling in some pieces of milk chocolate into the melting butter and cocoa, to take the edge of the darkness of the chocolate and make it a little more kiddie friendly. Because the recipe and book is American, the ingredients are measured in cups. Cups are great. Dead easy, no faff. My advice would be get yourself some. You'll never look back.
Go on, you know you want to.
Mississippi Mud Cake, adapted from 'Southern Cakes' by Nancie McDermott
For the cake base:
1 cup of butter, cut into big chunks (a standard pack of butter if you live in the UK)
1/2 cup of cocoa
6 pieces (squares) milk chocolate
4 eggs, beaten well.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup of chopped nuts (I used mixed nuts this time, but pecans are delish!)
For the Mississippi Mud Frosting:
3 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
4 cups of mini marshmellows, or 3 cups of standard size marshmellows, quartered.
Prepare and line a large brownie tin or square cake pan (I used 2 7x7 inch square tins that were about an inch deep).
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the cocoa and chocolate. Stir the mixture until the cocoa has dissolved and the mixture is well blended, about 3 to 4 minutes. Ensure your heat isn't too high or else the mixture will burn. When combined, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, nuts and flour in a bowl or a mixer. Don't overbeat.
Pour the cocoa and butter mixture gradually into that, and mix until both mixtures are incorporated.
Transfer to the cake tin and smooth over.
Bake at 180c for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched and the cake edges look like they are pulling away from the side of the pan.
Whilst the cake is baking, prepare your frosting, as it will need to go on the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl or mixer. Add the melted butter, milk, salt and vanilla. The mixture will then need to be beaten until it is well combined and looks quite glossy and a good pouring consistency.
At the point the cake is ready, scatter the marshmellows over the top and return the cake to the oven for about 3 minutes until the marshmellows are still in shape but are starting to melt into the cake itself. Take the cake from the oven and pour the frosting mixture over immediately, covering the marshmellows completely. Leave to 'set', or at least go cold.
I kept mine in the pan until I was ready to serve, then I removed it from the pan by the greaseproof paper. I cut it into squares at that point and transferred the remainder to a tin. You could remove the cake to a rack as soon as it comes out of the oven and then pour your frosting over, but I felt it would be potentially disasterous for someone of my ineptitude. I knew if I kept it in the pan I would not go far wrong.
Serve to hungry kids and mums. They will love it!