This chocolate mud cake with mint chocolate ganache is a GAME CHANGER. It is essentially your familiar mud cake taken to the next level. The cake is incredibly moist and intensely rich in chocolate flavours, and the mint chocolate ganache rounds it off with a hint of freshness.
I tailor-made this birthday cake for a client whose son is a huge mint chocolate fans like me. *high five* There were two main requests: mud cake, and mint chocolate. Well, I was thrilled about the order as I could let my imagination run free. As you can see the cake has that mysterious, galaxy vibe thanks to the dark theme and gold sprinkles. With the chocolate shards, honey combs and salted caramel popcorn as the extra elements, this cake cake looks luxurious and captivating, unlike an ordinary mud cake. (Secret: I’ve decided to put it on my menu when I have my own patisserie in the future, and I am gonna name it Mud, lol)
For the cake base, I used the recipe from Cake Paper Party that yields a rich, moist dark chocolate mud cake. If you are interested, I recommend you to take a look at the recipe as explains how she came up with the best mud cake recipe which makes perfect sense. I poured pure cream and baileys onto my left over chocolate cake and it’s sooo good.
I considered using Lindt Intense Mint Chocolate for the ganache, but I didn’t because I found it so much sweeter than the normal 70% dark chocolate. Therefore, I decided to introduce the mint flavour by adding mint extract, which went extremely well. That said, however, feel free to leave out the mint extract if you prefer to stick with the original dark chocolate taste. I used to have problems making ganache as it would split once I mixed the hot cream and chocolate together. But now I realise the key to making ganache is to let the cream-chocolate mixture sit for around 3 mins before you gently stir it. Also, try to stir as gently as possible as you don’t want to incorporate too many air bubbles into the ganache.
Thank you for reading and have a good weekend as always!
Dark Chocolate Cake (the cake batter is enough to pour into two 8 inch cake pans, each cut into two layers)
- 220g unsalted butter
- 200g dark chocolate, broke into small pieces
- 350g caster sugar
- 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 300ml hot water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 280g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mint Chocolate Ganache
- 2 tbsp mint extract
- 400g dark chocolate
- 500ml pure cream
- 50g soften unsalted butter
Chocolate shards with gold sprinkles
- 200g dark chocolate (I tempered my chocolate using XX)
- Gold sprinkles
- 300g granulated sugar
- 150g honey
- 80ml water
- 50g golden syrup
- 1 tbsp baking soda
Salted Caramel Popcorn
- 100g salted caramel (find the recipe here)
- Popcorn *I used the plain microwave-popcorn and mixed it with homemade salted caramel, or you can directly buy salted caramel popcorn if that’s what you prefer
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with melted butter. Line the pan bottom with parchment paper.
- Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter and whisk until completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can use the microwave, but check every 30 seconds.
- Mix the instant coffee powder and hot water. Set aside to let cool a bit until ready to use.
- Whisk in sugar and then cocoa powder into chocolate-butter mixture until fully incorporated.
- Slowly add hot coffee in 3 additions while whisking constantly until fully incorporate.
- Add vanilla and then the eggs( one at a time).
- Now, prepare the dry ingredients by sifting flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another mixing bowl with a beater attachment. Beat in low speed for 30 seconds to combine.
- While the mixer is still on low speed, slowly pour in the chocolate mixture.
- Change to medium high speed, beat for 1 min. Scrap the bottom and continue beating for 30 seconds until smooth.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for about 35 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake’s centre comes out clean.
- Let cool in pans for 10 mins before you take the cake out to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Cut each cake into two 1.5-cm thick layers with a cake cutter or serrated knife. Set aside until ready to use.
Mint Chocolate Ganache
- Break the chocolate into small pieces in a mixing bowl.
- In a sauce pan, boil cream and pour onto the chocolate.
- Let sit for 3 mints before gently stirring it until incorporated.
- When the mixture is cooled to around 35C. Stir in the butter and whisk until fully mixed.
- Cool the mixture using an ice bath until the ganache reaches a pipable consistency.
- Put the ganache into a pipe bag with a 6mm round nozzle.
- Line a flat, big tray with parchment paper. Set aside until ready to use. And you will need a sugar thermometer.
- Put sugar, honey, water, and golden syrup in a large saucepan with enough depth. Cook, while stirring continuously with a spatula, on low heat until all sugar dissolves.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring to boil. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 154C on the thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and let the bubbles subside.
- Add the baking soda and mix thoroughly to let the reaction occur. Many bubbles will form and the mixture will rise so please be careful. Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and set aside to cool completely.
- Break the honeycomb to pieces to your preferences.
Salted Caramel Popcorn
- Mix the salted caramel and popcorns together until the popcorns are evenly coated with salted caramel.
*if your salted caramel is a bit firm, microwave for 20-30 seconds so that they can evenly coat the popcorn.
Tempered Chocolate shards
- temper the chocolate and spread it thinly on a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Put some gold sprinkles on top of the chocolate before they’re completely set.
- Break them into pieces to your liking.
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake turntable and top it by piping ganache in a swirling motion. Smoothen the ganache with palette knife. Repeat with the second and third cake layer, and then last layer of cake. Frost the cake with remaining frosting.
- Decorate with chocolate shards, honey combs and salted caramel popcorn. Enjoy!