Saturday 17 March 2012

Caramel Mud Cakes - a Random Fail

Each month I intend to enter Dom's random recipe challenge. Each month he announces the theme and I scurry away to see what recipe I'll get. Ocassionally I actually make and post the proscribed recipe. More often than not I look at it and try to think how I'll persuade myself to eat X, Y or Z ingredient, or ponder how to cut down a savoury recipe intended for 4, 6 or more to just the required one portion. And then I give up and the intended random recipe remains in my cookery books and never makes it to the plate or to this blog.

Where is this leading I hear you asking... Well, this month Dom has set his random recipe challenge as being cookery book number 17 on the shelf. Not a problem, cookery book duly plucked off the shelf. Quite excited, as the chosen book is simply 'Chocolate'. A small book purchased from Marks and Spencer, and containing many delicious looking recipes for chocolate containing goodies - yum, what would I get?

The random page opened showed caramel choc-chip mud cakes. Oh yum indeed. So I set to making them.

Caramel Choc-Chip Mud Cakes
90g white eating chocolate, chopped
90g unsalted butter, chopped
110g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
125ml milk
110g plain flour
35g self raising flour
1 egg
40g milk chocolate, chopped
milk chocolate, to decorate (I used about 25g)

- Preheat oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a nine hole (125ml) friand or muffin tray (I used a similar sized tin meant for making eclairs). Line bases with baking parchment (I didn't!).
- Stir chocolate, butter, rown sugar, syrup and milk in medium saucepan, over low heat, until smooth. Cool 15 minutes.
- Whisk in sifted flours and egg. Stir in chopped chocolate. Divide between holes in prepared tin.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, then allow to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Melt the chocolate and pipe onto the cakes to decorate.

I had such high hopes for these - they smelled utterly delicious while they were baking. Afterwards they did sink slightly in the tins, which should have warned me.

When I cut into them, the texture was heavy and dense in the middle. I guess I should have expected this as there was only 35g self raising flour in the batter and lots of weighty ingredients like golden syrup. I think they were cooked through, but wasn't willing to inflict them on my testers - I have a reputation to uphold here ;-) so I sadly have no taste report for you.

If you don't mind heavy, dense, chewy centres, this may be the cake for you. But not for me. I think the recipes in the book are from the Australian Women's Weekly. Browsing their website for this recipe I came across a number of caramel mud cakes, (there are some here) some of which showed the texture I could see in mine (here) but some seemed to have a lighter texture (here). I don't actually know what mud cake texture should be like, so if anyone can enlighten me that would be great. I might make them again because they just smelled so delicious but instead of using 110g plain flour and 35g self raising, I might use 110g self raising and 35g plain.

So there we have my random fail for Dom's Random Recipe challenge.


Bronya said...

They sound utterly scrummy, and I'm sure with a quick recipe alteration will taste strummy too!!

Suelle said...

I'm not sure there's anything wrong with the recipe. Most mud cakes I've made have been very dense and moist, and almost fudgy in texture - just like the centre of your cakes.

It looks almost as if they are slightly overcooked and should have had a molten centre - did the recipe say to expect a clean test probe, or mention that the recipe was too moist for that particular test?

Anna's kitchen table said...

Oh, it's a shame you didn't like them! Gutted. :((

Choclette said...

But they look so pretty C! Like Suelle, I would expect a mud cake to be dense - think mud! They sound quite delicious anyway and I think I might have to try some for myself. Sadly, I don't have those lovely bar shapes you have nor your chocolate drizzling skills.

Caroline said...

Bronya - I'm sure they will!

Suelle - I think they are supposed to be cooked-through cakes rather than runny desserts. The helpful (not!) instructions just say 'cook for about 25 minutes'. No mention of texture, testing or probes. I think I was expecting a different texture (more cake like) but this moist/fudge texture is probably right.

Anna - never mind, there are plenty of other recipes for me to try!

Caroline said...

Choclette - thank you! I will revise my expectations next time I attempt mud cake!

Chele said...

Well I think they look and sound utterly divine. I LOVE dense mud cakes, much prefer them to those lighter than air numbers which really can;t be classed as a mud cake at all. This would get an epic tick from me ;0)

Jean said...

Actually they look delish and if I were just around the corner I would volunteer to taste them for might take 2 or 3 to reach a conclusion !!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I think they look right - just not to your taste! What a shame.

Janice said...

What a shame, they do look good. I like a gooey cake, but not an uncooked one! Worth trying some other cakes in the eclair tins though as they look really professional.

Caroline said...

Chele - sounds like these would be right up your street then!

Jean - if only you had been here to taste them for me!

Foodycat - that's it. They're right, but not to my taste. Perfectly put.

Janice - I'll have to persevere with the tin then, need to use a different recipe!

Johanna GGG said...

I love mud cakes - heavy and dense sounds about right to me - I agree with Suelle that they don't need to be cooked through properly and in fact are a little better for a gooey centre.

The one thought that occurs to me is that perhaps the long thin shaped cakes you made might have cooked through quicker than a friand or muffin shape so maybe that made a difference to the baking time. I am sure I would have eaten them though as they look great - wish I could be one of your testers :-)

Unknown said...

well firstly... I think they LOOK wonderful... you've properly 'polished a turd' as the saying goes (although i'm sure they didn't taste that bad... secondly, I actually quite like a dense cake... i'm a bit of a cookie dough fiend so if it tasted or had the consistency of anything like this then its a winner for me!... and thirdly, thank you for entering, regardless xx


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