Now I had my standard mud cake set as the base. This one is my absolute favourite, it isn't too dense, but isn't too soft like a chocolate cake. It is rich, but not too rich, for me it is the perfect mud cake. So i made two of those, as I wanted the height, one just wasn't enough.
But the cookies and cream icing, now that I had to research. My normal icing choice for a mud cake is a chocolate ganache, but that wouldn't suit here, so I googled a few recipes and decided on this icing. I really don't like normal buttercreams, I mean really they are just sweetened butter, and for me they just taste like sweetened butter, which is unpleasant to me. This recipe added a cooked flour and milk mixture to the buttercream. At first I wasn't sure, but I figured I'll make a small batch of it, see if I like it, then make more if I do. This recipe is 4 times the normal recipe, so if you do like it, you can halve, third or quarter the recipe easily.
Well I really liked it, the end result gives you a light, whipped cream, kind of a buttercream. It has a silky feel to it, and the milk mixture makes the buttercream whiter than a standard buttercream. I only added two teaspoons of vanilla extract you can add up to 4 teaspoon, taste as you go.
The most important part of the buttercream is the incorporation of the milk mixture, make sure it is beaten in well, or you will end up with floury tasting bits of icing. Just don't rush this step, and scrape down the side of the bowl every now and then.
The ganache is simple, you can cover the whole top of the cake or do only a border, like i did. If you do only do a border, leftover ganache can be turned into truffles.
The cakes can be made up to a week in advance, keep covered in the refrigerator. I would only do the icing the day before.
Cake making is supposed to be fun. This one looks great, but between you and me, is quite easy to make.
Icing adapted from www.ourbestbites.com
Chocolate Mud Cake: you need to make two of these
250g unsalted butter, chopped
250g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
150g self raising flour
150g plain flour
1/2 cup (60g) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 1/4 cups (550g) caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk
12 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups full cream milk
460g salted butter
2 cups caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (you can more if you like)
13-14 oreos, crushed
500g dark chocolate melts
2/3 cup thickened cream
Oreos and strawberries, to decorate
Put the butter, chocolate, coffee and 3/4 cup (185ml) water in a medium sized saucepan. Over low heat, stir until all is melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl add the self raising and plain flours, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda. Add the caster sugar, and using a whisk give the flour mix a good whisk to combine. Add the eggs, oil and buttermilk, give it a little whisk. Now gradually add the melted chocolate mix, whisking after each addition, until all is combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin, the mixture is quite wet.
Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Test with a skewer into the centre of the cake, it may be slightly wet. I find when you press on the cake gently, it will feel cooked. If it is not cooked, bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until it is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave it in the cake tin to cool completely. If you are in a rush leave it in the cake tin for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Then take it out of the cake tin carefully and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Now make a second cake.
Oreo Buttercream: Place the flour and milk in a medium saucepan, whisk until smooth. Place over a medium heat, whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, now stirring with a rubber spatula, breaking up any lumps that form as you stir, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste.
Place the mixture into a bowl, refrigerate and let it cool completely. As it is cooling, stir it occasionally to speed up the cooling process and to stop a crust forming on top.
In a freestanding electric mixer, with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until well combined and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Now with the mixer on, add the cold thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine, then again scrape down the side of the bowl. The mixture will look messy, but keep beating, scraping side of bowl every now and then, keep beating until the mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, this can take about 8-10 minutes. It is important to beat the milk mixture in properly, don't rush this part. You can also taste the mixture as you might want to add more vanilla, this is to taste.
Fold in the crushed oreos, gently. You want to just incorporate them in.
You can slice each cake in half, and spread oreo buttercream between each layer or keep the cakes whole and spread buttercream only between the two cakes. Here I did not slice the cakes, I kept them whole. How you do it is up to you.
Remove any crust that formed on top of the cakes while baking. Place the cake on a serving plate, spread with buttercream. Place second cake (also trimmed of crusty bits), trimmed side down on top of the buttercream. This gives you a smooth level top to coat with buttercream.
Spread cream all over the cake, smooth out. Refrigerate while you make the chocolate ganache. You want the cake cold so the drips set quickly when you add them to the cake.
Chocolate Ganache: Meanwhile, add choc melts and cream to a saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow to cool and thicken slightly, then pour over the chilled cake, allowing it to dribble over the side a little. (I did not add the chocolate all over the top of the cake this time, but you have enough chocolate ganache to do so).
Decorate with strawberries and oreos. Refrigerate until needed.
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