Saturday, March 24, 2018

Coconut Milk Mud Cake

This is for that weeknight de-stress bake that we all need sometimes.

It ticks all the right boxes:
Easy to make.
Moist and decadent.
One bowl.

Plus - it's made with coconut milk so all the more reason to love it because it means you get to open up a can and just the smell alone will take you away to the tropics if for only a second.

I love a one-layer cake like this. There's no crumb coat, no chilling steps, no dainty decorations needed. It's a comfort cake for easy laid back baking when you just want to create without the pressure of being unique.

In this moment, you just want it to taste good. Period.

Despite having 3/4 cup coconut milk in it, this cake just has a hum of coconut flavour. It is by no means a coconut cake, but a perfect marriage of coconut and chocolate. If you want a loud coconut flavour, use 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut extract.

As with all good mud cakes, this recipe is heavy on butter, cocoa and the moist factor! It is dense and decadent and satisfying in slivers, although a big slice is not NOT encouraged either.

Mud cakes are very popular in Australia (probably because they are easy to make and Aussies appreciate easy!) and they are called "mud" because they are so dense and chocolaty, and because making the batter is a "melt & mix" situation so the batter looks like mud I guess... But a nicer way to say it is that it looks like a brownie batter. Using a blend of butter and water is the key as the butter will give it that fudgy texture and the water will provide moistness.

Do not skimp on the sugar, because sugar is what holds the moisture in and makes it cut so cleanly rather than crumbling about.

I hope you love this!

Coconut Milk Mud Cake
makes one 9-inch cake

2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (150ml) water
2/3 cup (65g) cocoa powder 
½ tsp fine salt
1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
¾ cup (175ml) coconut cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (215g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

For the frosting:
1 ¼ cups (150g) icing sugar
3 tbsp (18g) cocoa powder
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
hefty pinch of salt
4 tbsp (60ml) coconut cream
1 ½ oz (42g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

For topping:
1 oz (about ¼ cup) sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Preheat your oven to 325°F and a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter, water, cocoa, salt and 1 cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil while whisking constantly until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a medium bowl. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Once cooled, whisk in remaining ½ cup of sugar followed by the eggs, coconut cream and vanilla extract until well combined. Combine flour with baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and then sift it over the chocolate mixture. Whisk it in gently just until the batter is smooth, but do not over-mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool for 20 minutes before inverting.

To make the frosting, sift together icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk to blend evenly and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat butter with salt for 20 seconds until creamy using an electric hand mixer on medium speed. Gradually beat in icing sugar mixture in three parts alternately with the coconut cream. Add the coconut milk a little at a time so that you do not break the emulsion. If you notice that the frosting begins to separate, it’s ok though because it will come back together once the chocolate is added. Add cooled, melted chocolate and beat on high speed until light, creamy and smooth.

To decorate cake, dollop frosting on top and spread it out to the sides, swirling and swooshing it to make it look lovely. Sprinkle toasted coconut over top.
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