Trans-Continental Baking Experiment – A Chocolate Mud Cake

A mere two or so years ago, I was the sort of person, who would have looked down her nose at even the concept of ‘meeting people online’. I could not understand how people could make friends with people they met online.

Even when I started blogging, I had no idea that there is a blogging community and that you would interact with others – to say that I was completely clueless would be the biggest understatement. Which is why this is even more amazing for me. One, to meet so many wonderful people on the internet, who you can so identify with, with similar ideas and two, to collaborate with 5 women across the world in a baking experiment, of all the possible things.

It all started with Goofy Mumma(GM) sent a bunch of us (‘A’ , Monika, Trish and me) an email asking for a chocolate mud cake recipe. I don’t bake too many chocolate cakes, so I was of little help. ‘A’ sent across the most delicious sounding recipe from here.  GM tried it and had a few questions and doubts. A flurry of emails went back and forth.  ‘A’ went through the effort of making 2 cakes, following slightly different methods and came out with the most gorgeous(and I am sure,  delicious) cakes. Not just that, she recorded everything she did. And that prompted Monika, myself and Trish to give it a try and GM to give it a second try.

The first time I tried it, I totally forgot to check whether I had enough dark chocolate and realised just as I was making it, that I had run out of dark chocolate. Thankfully, I found a huge slab of white chocolate in my pantry. I also added 50 gms  of cocoa, by replacing it instead of 50 gms of the self-raising flour. I had a really runny mixture and it took me ages to get the cake done. I had also made the mistake of buying a pan of the wrong size.  I had wanted to pick up a 9 inch pan, but ended up with an 8 inch one instead, stupid me! So I had enough batter for an 8 inch cake as well as 16 cupcakes. I was literally praying that it does not become a disaster. I am normally very, very particular about following cake recipes exactly. While I play around with other recipes, baking, I feel, is quite an exact science and I am loath to use approximations or substitutions. So having made so many changes, I was quite apprehensive about the result.

My worry only added, when at the end of 45 minutes(the time mentioned in the recipe, the batter was still liquid in the oven. Finally after 2 hours, and a lot of poking and prodding, the cake was done, albeit with a bunch of cracks.

Not a pretty cake at all. The cupcakes turned out beautifully, not a single crack and they were ready in 45 minutes time – they were just gorgeous, and I forgot to take pictures. In my defense, I had a busy day, I was having friends over for dinner, and had a lot on my mind. Well, as they say, looks are deceptive. The cake was the most divine tasting cake ever! It was moist and absolutely delicious! My friends took home the leftovers. I kept aside some for Poohi which disappeared the very next day. The cupcakes went to work with husband and were never seen again.

Inspired by the gorgeous results that the others had with the recipe, I was tempted to give it one more shot. This time, I was determined to follow the recipe properly and follow all the tips and suggestions that everybody else had added after their own experience with the cake.  So I went and bought myself a stash of dark chocolate and set about it all over again. You know, when I plan to do something right, I almost definitely make some really dumb mistake. This time, I ended up pouring the chocolate mixture into the flour, instead of the eggs. In my defense, both the bowls were next to each other. I know, it is a lame defense. Then on, I followed everything, and hoped that this time, my cake turns out pretty.

This is how it turned out. Not as bad as the previous time, but still with some cracks.

So to take the attention away from the sad cracks, I just inverted it and dusted it with icing sugar. The dusting was not done very well, though.

A slice of chocolate mud cake anyone?

The most amazing part of this experiment was that feeling of being part of a group, knowing that someone, even if on the other corner of the world, was there to talk to, to ask for suggestions.. The sort of tips and information that just flowed in those emails was absolutely wonderful! We discovered things which we took for granted was new information for somebody else, and learnt some really cool tips from the others.. It was such a collaborative effort. The joy at seeing my friends’ gorgeous cakes was more than seeing my own.  I would refresh my inbox every time I could, just in case, you know 🙂 Girls, thank you so much for all that! GM, A BIG thanks for starting it all off.

To see the other gorgeous, yummilicious cakes, hop over to ‘A’s, GM’s, Monika’s and Trish’s. And if any of you are in the vicinity here, please drop over, I have my last attempt stowed away in the freezer 🙂

74 thoughts on “Trans-Continental Baking Experiment – A Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. Pingback: Trans-Continental Baking Experiment-Chocolate Mud cake « My Sunshine

  2. Wonderfully looking cake smitha,i am not a chocolate person,so i hardly bake cake with chocolate and also varu doesn’t like.

    Same here, I don’t make chocolate cakes too much, because husband is not too fond of it – but this one was a huge hit!
    But for that pc pinky will kill anyone,she loves chocolates.

    LOL! I will make it for her when we meet 🙂

    Blogging is a such a wonderful experience,i have few friends in food blog and met a blogger in abudhabi,we used to chat almost everday and our chat used to end with a call.She is a excellent cook and she always comes to my aid when i need some tips and suggestion.Now she is back in india and not blogging much.

    It is, isn’t it? Blogging is the best!

    Now will hope to see other cakes.

    You should – they are just gorgeous!!!!

  3. Excellent team work with a very sweet outcome 😀 😀
    I’d love to join in the gang for sure after July (for I have a few work assignments lined up till that time 😦 )
    I am a baking freak, but my camera is never around on time 😦

    Oh do join CB! You keep talkng about the most delicious cakes! Would love to pick up a few tips from you 🙂

    You are my inspiration Smitha, I’d have to plunge into blog-cooking sometime soon for sure 😀 😀

    Goodness, CB:) You flatter me 🙂 Do join us in blog-cooking/baking 🙂

  4. Your making this cake with mud? Adding in a few pebbles as well? 😀

    Yeah yeah, how abt some sand as well and decorate with a few shells 😉

          • Yeah, I can imagine. A friend returned from UK yesterday and said he was still trying to get the cold out of his bones. But apparently, last week was hot and sunny. I asked him how hot? He said, around 19-20 degrees! I burst out laughing.

            It is back to 3 and 4 degrees this week and it rains 😦 What a waste of summer, can’t tell you! This morning was beautiful, so I promised Poohi some park time, and now it looks like it will rain any minute 😦

            To put it in perspective, hot in Dubai is 45 degrees! 😀

            45 degrees!!! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! We are still wearing winter coats 😦

            • The only disadvantage of living in a western country is the cold. But you know what? I think it is easier to tackle cold than heat. I was in Ireland for a while. I don’t mind the 8 am sunrise, 4 pm sunset and rain half the year. Its better than sweating and getting baked in the sun.

              Though just to make you jealous, we have peak summers here from May to Sep when the temp is 40+. Rest of the months, its 20s and 30s! Nice and pleasant 😀

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Trans-Continental Baking Experiment – Chocolate Mud Cake « Any Excuse to Write… --

  6. No fair… all this cake and baking talk is making me super hungry!!! Considering I am hmmm a not so good baker, i think i will head down to Whole Foods and wolf down a peice of anything which says: “Chocolate”

    LOL! I am tempted to do that, but these days, store bought just does not work for me 😦

    Great job, both of them look super yumm!

    They did taste yum, even though they did not look as pretty as I would have liked it to look 🙂

  7. the texture of this cake is sooo yummy and the color so rich…i just want to eat and eat and eat…hai nah Smitha :)! slurp….dreaming about it again already 🙂

    Oh me too! I have cake stashed away in the freezer and am too scared to open it 🙂 Just cannot afford to 🙂 The texture and the taste was so out of the world!

    I don’t care about the cracks, esp when I’m eating it at home and not taking it out somewhere. if you’re baking it next time and it still has cracks like this, make the cracks a little more pronounce with a knife, esp in the middle area, pour hot chocolate on the crack and serve it as molten lava chocolate cake ;)..hee hee hee
    i like the sugar sprinkle on top. always makes the simplest cake beautiful.

    That is the coolest idea!!! I will so do it 🙂 Am sure it will be a huge hit too 🙂 I resort to sugar sprinkle whenever I have no time to dress it up 😉 Or serve with ice-cream with a sprinkling of nuts and chocolate sauce 🙂

    this has been so much fun and so stimulating!

    Oh it has!!! I cannot say how much! It was so so wonderful!

  8. What would a person who is trying to stay away from sweets and which ever blog she hops on to there’s chocolate something!!!!!!!!!!! No fair!! First Deepa and now you!!

    Aww! So sorry! You know, I had to stash away most of the second cake because I had ODed on the first one 🙂 I love baking and can’t resist 🙂

    I love baking though i don’t do it often. Cake looks good despite the cracks, I guess the top became crusty adding some extra texture:-))

    It was yum! The crust, the texture – everything! We have ‘A’ to thank for it 🙂

  9. You know what Smi, the cracks are actually showing the gorgeous texture of the cake inside, here and I am droooooooooooooooling. The moistness, makes it all the better, and somehow, just looking at the cake, I can taste the richness of it in my mouth. Yummm. I am sure once you have a better grip of your new oven, the cracks will simply disappear, just you wait n watch! This has been such a fun bonding experience hai na??????? Virtual hugs girl, from your ‘online dost’!!

  10. Oh my my, this looks divine, Smitha…. I just want to gobble all that up! Will def try this one.

    OK am off to the other 4’s blogs to drool some more 🙂

  11. OMG..that looks amazing..I can’t bake anything..emphasis on save my life.. I am so bad with ovens.. so here I am with drool falling out of my mouth looking at such a beautiful Mud Cake.

    Need to hit the nearest bakery now.

  12. When I visit ya will you please put up my bed in your pantry? All I want is those slabs of chocolates you store in there 😳

    Whoa you baked a mud cake? It sure looks divine and it should na with all that chocolate in it…sigh!! Where in the heavens can I get a cake now? and that too am seeing your pics just after a 5 hour hiking! 😥

  13. this is I think one of the most fun times I have had baking off late, not just baking but the whole process it was amazing 😀 loved it

    and the cake was sinful and yummy

    and for dusting sugar i use a simple technique that spreads it evenly and beautifully spread it thru a sieve and I love the molten lava idea of A

  14. Your cake looks criminally delicious. I saw A’s cake too and wondered if you guys should need license to describe food (crisp crust, ‘pour hot chocolate’ etc) and to post food fotos?

  15. Yummy looking cakes, Smitha! I used to bake cakes until a few years back. Now, because my elder son is abroad who is a foodie, no one is there to encourage me to go through the effort of baking!

  16. I love it that you dusted powdered sugar on it..yummm..
    And I am so with u on the second para-when i first started blogging..i had no idea about the online community or the importance of comments etc..but now,I have made so many is as real as it is virtual:)

    I find dusted sugar the easiest way to dress up a cake 🙂 We do meet such wonderful people, don’t we 🙂

  17. The cake looks absolutely heavenly and yummmyy….drooolingg……. 🙂

    I can understand the feeling of pride when the cake comes out well and is being hogged by everyone….you feel so satisfied with the good job done…..I just love that feeling and thats why I bake something every week.

    I know! I wish I could bake every week! I cannot afford to – I am already getting fatter and fatter with no exercise 🙂

    And so right abt the online community coming together for a cake recipe…its so damn gud….just remember the time when all the ppl came together to make a gift for Vimmuuu’s wedding….shows the lovely bond we share virtually. 🙂

    Absolutely! It is difficult to believe that most of us haven’t even met, and yet, we feel so close knit!

  18. The cake looks yummy & is inspiring me to bake my choclate walnut cake pronto!!! 😀

    Oh do bake it and post the recipe too 🙂 I love chocolate walnut cakes! Husband does not like walnuts, so I replace them with pecans instead 🙂

  19. Me never going to visit your blog about cakes without few beside as your posts really makes me hungry!!!

    LOL! I should open a cafe and make all my customers read my blog to improve my business 😉

    Seriously!! 🙂 🙂 and you know what… The amount of like minded people i meet in online really higher than in real world… 🙂 and this one is really cool to read smitha:)

    I guess we meet more like minded people here because we communicate mainly based on our ideas/viewpoints..

  20. Pingback: Trans-Continental Baking Experiment-Chocolate Mud cake « Sisters-Friends Forever

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