Chocolate Mud Cake ...!

Yum yum yum, yum yum yum yum. 

What is it about chocolate ... its soooooo good.  Sometimes, to fill my chocolate needs, I eat Nutella with a spoon (well I eat lots of things with a spoon, out of the can, without any bread ... like frosting...hmm, I should go get some) or I snipe the chocolate chips out of the bag (I think many people do this, and many more should).  During our tour around the world I ate some form of chocolate every single day, I have the stretch marks to prove it.  Well, I don't much care, I'm normally a decently healthy eater, I just listen to my stomach, but chocolate...there's always room for more.  I want to tell you that I did a little reconnaissance - I scoped out the chocolate market in Eastern Europe for ya - and I discovered that Karl Fazer is the best chocolate I've ever had.  Now, I'm not a foodie, and I'm not a chocolate connoisseur.  I'm just a normal gal, with normal taste buds and I don't demand a fancy chocolate.  But if you want to find something that's extremely affordable, makes good presents (if you have the restraint to not eat it all yourself), and is better than anything Hershey has ever produced - go with Fazer

But the point of this story is really about this great Chocolate Mud Cake Recipe I discovered, posted by Katie from Sydney, Australia.  It is so good - the recipe is actually from a recent Donna Hay magazine - don't worry I'll put it on my permanent recipe page:

Chocolate Mud Cake
1 3/4 cups butter, chopped
1 3/4 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (15g) instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60ml) water
6 eggs
2 cups (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 (225g) self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup (25g) cocoa, sifted

for the ganache:
1 cup (250ml) single pouring cream
300g dark chocolate, chopped
1. Heat the oven to 160˚C (325˚F)
2. Place butter, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and water into a saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring until melted.
3. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk - using an electric beater until pale and thick in consistency.
5. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined.
6. Fold through the sifted flour and cocoa.

7. Pour into a lightly greased, lined 24cm round cake tin. (I used individual spring-form tins rather than one large one)
8. Bake for 1 hour and 30 mins, or again with individual ones - I found give them about an hour and they were cooked. Test with a skewer - it should come out fairly dry. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the ganache...
Warm the cream to almost boiling or a slow simmer (let it boil just a teeny bit then take it straight off the heat) then pour onto the cold chopped up chocolate. Then the key bit; leave it standing for about a minute or two before stirring. (Katie says...I have made ganache so many times and failed miserably on many an occasion - wasting some very expensive chocolate in the process..., I have found this method I now always use, produces a smooth, split-free consistency).

Pour ganache over cooled cake/s. Serve with vanilla ice cream or cream if preferred. Its pretty good slightly warmed in the microwave too.

Now, at least three people in the past two weeks have said some variation of "Shasta, you're so domestic".  (insert ripping record halt here).  What? Excuse me? Domestic?? Me? In half seriousness, I didn't really like the sound of that.  What about woman power? The revolt of the 70's and 80's? The baby Christian feminist inside of me was like, hold on, wait a minute ... insult?

Maybe not. 

Being "domestic" isn't a bad thing - and it certainly doesn't mean the same thing it used to.  I just found it interesting that I reacted to that word - small amounts of cooking, crafting, and sewing have always been a part of my family, I go to my mom for all sorts of "domestic" things - but she's the strongest, most independent woman I know. She has two jobs, and neither are part time - she runs a small business and still manages excellent yearly reports as an insurance representative at a company she's worked at for over 25 years.  She's not "domestic", she's a working mother who cooks, cleans, sews, and even finds time to enjoy projects like candle making or gardening.  I was actually surprised that so many of my fellow gal friends didn't know how to do some of these things - whatever! I like it when things don't fall into a neat little box - makes life more interesting.

So thank you.  I am domestic.