cakefat Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:26am
post #1 of

I'm located close to the Australia region and I find a lot of people/bakeries are making mud cakes. I'm going to attempt to make a one soon (as I've never even eaten before) and I've been reading over recipes and speaking to some Australian and New Zealand friends who have all described the cake as being 'dense'. Almost like a torte.

I'm wondering if this just a difference in what tastes good and/or a culture of how cakes are baked? I thought one of the objectives was always to bake a not dense cake but light and fluffy? So I'm confused why 'dense' would be a good thing? The mud cake recipes look very yummy and I'm going to try one regardless but I was wondering if anyone had any insight to this? Dense is a good thing (in cakes) now?

Or is the 'dense' in mud cakes different that the bad 'dense' of what happens in cakes sometimes?

Thank you for your help!

15 replies
shellw72 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 11:49am
post #2 of

Dense in a mudcake is a good thing - that's the texture it is meant to be - unlike dense in other cakes which are meant to be lighter. It's a little like a Madeira Cake is also a dense cake while a sponge is meant to be light and fluffy.

The flavour in a good mudcake is divine - really rich so a little is all you need.

Good luck with your baking icon_smile.gif

Mikail Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 11:56am
post #3 of

The mud cakes I've baked do tend to be 'dense'. I also noticed that my Australian cake decorating/baking books use the mud cakes. I figured maybe it's preferred over there because of the weather or maybe its a good choice with heavily decorated/carved cakes - don't know. So I gave it a try (several times), especially that I live in the Middle East and it can get quite hot/humid over here. I did not receive positive feedback and I stopped baking them. They find the taste 'heavy' and prefer butter cakes (and even with these I get comments sometimes because they're used to the light 'sponge' feel - so I have to explain that I can't use the lighter sponge if the cakes are carved, etc.) They've gotten used to the butter cakes now - mind you, I'm don't bake/decorate for business.. Feedback from friends/family. I personally find the mud cakes rich and dense but then I like that feel with chocolate cakes... however, I can't go past a couple of bites.

cakefat Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 12:10pm
post #4 of

Thank you for your detailed replies! One Australian friend did say that they could not eat too much of a mud cake. Maybe it was too rich? I forgot the exact wording now. They also said that it tastes better a few days later too. It seems that would be good for decorating/wedding cakes- heavier and tastes great days later?

okay, well I will bake a white chocolate mud cake next week and let my NZ/Aussie friends try it out to let me know.

thank you again!!

cakefat Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 1:35pm
post #5 of

Update: I made the white chocolate mud cake recipe from this site and it is great! It was very moist, had a great texture and taste- I've been very pleasantly surprised!

And by the way, it's not 'dense' in the same way that I thought 'dense' would be. Its not a 'negative' dense to me anyway. I do have to say that the recipe only made one 8" pan so I had to torte it into two layers and it rose higher than most of my other cakes..but all in all- much more moist and rich than a lot of other cakes I've made. I will completely try more mud cakes from now on.

Bluehue Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 2:32pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakefat

I'm located close to the Australia region and I find a lot of people/bakeries are making mud cakes. I'm going to attempt to make a one soon (as I've never even eaten before) and I've been reading over recipes and speaking to some Australian and New Zealand friends who have all described the cake as being 'dense'. Almost like a torte.
Really !!! I would never have thought of describing a Mud Cake as that of a Torte.
Any Torte i have ever eaten - whether here or through Europe have been nothing like a Mud Cake.
Perhaps some of those you have been speaking to haven't cooked thier Mud Cakes long enough.....................shrug.



I'm wondering if this just a difference in what tastes good and/or a culture of how cakes are baked? I thought one of the objectives was always to bake a not dense cake but light and fluffy?
If you ae baking a Sponge Cake - you want light anf fluffy.
If you want a Fruit Cake - you want a cake full of body and moist
If you want to make a Mud Cake - you want a cake Rich in taste - a good Crumb and heavier in texture than that of a Sponge Cake.

Because all of thee three styles/types of cakes are so different is why they were/are served at different times of the day and for different occassions.

If i was having a Luncheon - i wouldn't serve a Mud Cake along side a cup of tea. Some might - i wouldn't.



So I'm confused why 'dense' would be a good thing? Alot of people are put off because of this very statement...Yes, when a Mudcake is just baked - (still warm) the cake can be described as Dense - however a Mud Cake should have a fine crumb - Due to the fact that 99% of us Australians freeze our Mud Cakes after baking is to *settle* the Mud side of the cake. The mud cake recipes look very yummy and I'm going to try one regardless but I was wondering if anyone had any insight to this? Dense is a good thing (in cakes) now?
Again - it depends in what style/type of cake your baking... and for what occassion.
I have friends from the Southern Europe who don't like to eat Mud Cake.
They prefer thier traditional Almond style Cake.
Like Mud Cake - they are rich - but in different ways.

Tradition plays a bit part in what certain people wish to eat and at what function.
I would never suggest making a Mud Cake for those friends of mine for a Wedding - such occassions run deep with tradition.
Australians are not so steeped in Tradition per sae - so we are rather flexible with trying different Cakes for any function.
It really has only been in the last 4- 5 years that the Red Velvet Cake has popped up in Weddings and Engagement Parties. Only because Red Velvet cake wasn't widely known of over here.

Bluehue


Or is the 'dense' in mud cakes different that the bad 'dense' of what happens in cakes sometimes?


Thank you for your help!


Sweetcakedecade Posted 17 Dec 2014 , 8:48pm
post #7 of

 Most people in my region (France) prefer, fluffy , light, low fat, cakes (genoise, biscuits, dacquoise etc...) with soft mousse and fresh fruit fillings (no buttercream). During holidays, I ordered cakes in US and UK just to taste the difference. I really couldn't eat a full slice. We don't make heavy cake with buttercream,(butter, crisco, powder sugar type)  in our bakery. 

 

I do like mudcake with ganache. I also sell them in my bakery, but it is not frequently ordered. In most cases, people order a typical French style cake and buy the mudcake as extra for the chocolate lovers.

MBalaska Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 3:04am
post #8 of

I agree with @Bluehue Perhaps the best way to describe a mud cake is RICH  as opposed to saying that it's dense.  So glad that you had a great experience  @cakefat. Mine also rose really high and made a wonderful dome, which I ate and thoroughly enjoyed!

cazza1 Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 5:56am
post #9 of

Bluehue your statement about 99% of us Aussies freeze our mud cakes threw me for 6.  Until I came on this site I had never met/heard of anyone who froze their mud cakes.

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 7:54am

I'm with Cazza1 - the only time I (from Australia) freeze a mud cake is when I have far too much left over and wish it to last longer than a few weeks, or saving the trimmed off bits for my next cake pop order.  

 

We do not freeze them to mature them - they just sit out at room temperature to mature for 3-4 days or so, which is perfect timing to cool, ganache, fondant (if desired) and decorate before an event - ie bake on Tuesday for a Saturday event.

 

However, some larger volume cake decorators might make a big batch of cakes (say 100 of them) and freeze them, and just pull out what they need to decorate each week according to orders.  

 

Mud Cakes hit Australia about 23-25 years ago - within about 5 years it replaced the traditional fruit cake as Australia's all time favourite 'go-to' wedding cake and birthday cake.  We are slowly getting to the 'all- mud-caked-out" stage now, with only about 50% of my cake orders being mud cake now.

 

I would described them as very rich - so a little goes a long way.  1"x1" servings are all you need.  I would call my 2 favourite mud cake recipes as 'dense' in that they are rich, moist and heavy.  They are completely different from devil's food chocolate cake (a buttercake) and the complete opposite end of the spectrum to a sponge/chiffon.  They work like fruit cake in that they can handle small servings, popped in a wedding cake bag and put under your pillow to dream of the one you will marry

:-).

 

An 8" mud cake with ganache contains about 1.5kg of real chocolate + cocoa, so you can imagine how heavy/dense/rich they are.  They typically bake with a meringue style crunchy layer on top, which most of us trim off (and eat for scientific research purposes - ha ha) before ganaching & icing.

 

A mud cake will last about 1 month at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap (seran, cling wrap, glad wrap) - we only freeze it if we don't plan to eat it that soon.

 

Single servings of left over Mud cake & ganache is also brilliant heated up in the microwave for 30 secs - the ganache goes like hot chocolate sauce - instant self saucing chocolate pudding - yum.

 

To offset some of that mega richness, we sometimes add tart fruit like raspberries - particularly nice in white chocolate.  Nuts like hazelnuts and macadamias also work well.

Crazy-Gray Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 11:19am

I can't sell mudcake here in the UK at all, everyone thinks it's underdone it's infuriating, all they want is something 'light and fluffy' but its hard to get a good chocolate favlour into a delicate crumb.... ah well their loss :D I get all the mudcakes to myself! ...I do find people more receptive to white mudcake for some reason..... it doesn't seem to go quite as 'fudgy' when you cut it maybe that's why......

kimmisue2009 Posted 18 Dec 2014 , 3:43pm

I made mudcake cupcakes a couple of weeks ago.  First time making mud anything.  First, the batter could be spooned over ice cream - it was that heavenly.  And I think everyone who tasted them said they had never had such a completely chocolately chocolate cupcake.  They were fantastic.  I have tried umpteen recipes and added chocolate to every one of them, but never with such great taste results.  They were heavy. They were dense. But when I'm looking for chocolate, that's what I want.

craftybanana Posted 27 Dec 2014 , 3:01am

Maybe I did something wrong then.  I made Pam's mudcake and it came out dense (and rubbery) and not very tasty. Kinda chocolaty-blah. Pilsbury brownie mix tastes better to me (flavor-wise). It was super dense and molded after two weeks. I tried pieces of it on days 1, 2, and 3. The third day was better, but not by much. Recommendations? Do I need to try another recipe? Did I over cook it? Several people have raved about Pam's recipe so I think I did it wrong. I got the recipe from here: http://www.cakecentral.com/t/726071/august-scratch-off-mud-cake

craftybanana Posted 29 Dec 2014 , 10:42pm

Any suggestions?

Magic Mouthfuls Posted 29 Dec 2014 , 11:13pm

I'm guessing your super warm and humid Florida climate might have something to do with it going mouldy in two weeks.  In that case, store at room temperature for only a week and freeze if you need to keep longer.

 

Pam's recipe differs from the ones I use that also contain oil and buttermilk (or sometimes I use milk soured with vinegar).  Using quality chocolate is paramount - if you can't eat it, then don't eat cook with it.

 

This Australian mud cake recipe is from Planet Cake.... http://akitchencat.com.au/tag/planet-cake/

 

When using a recipe that contains bicarb soda / baking soda - then the cocoa must be natural (not dutch processed which has been treated with alkaline).  The chemical reactions and taste are affected by using the wrong one.

 

Your other problem with Pam's recipe might just be that you aren't the 'mud cake' kind of girl.  Mud cakes are dense (tho rubbery is definitely not an adjective I would use) and very very very chocolately.  If you dont like chocolate, then dont eat mud cake!!!

craftybanana Posted 30 Dec 2014 , 2:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Mouthfuls 
 

I'm guessing your super warm and humid Florida climate might have something to do with it going mouldy in two weeks.  In that case, store at room temperature for only a week and freeze if you need to keep longer.

 

Pam's recipe differs from the ones I use that also contain oil and buttermilk (or sometimes I use milk soured with vinegar).  Using quality chocolate is paramount - if you can't eat it, then don't eat cook with it.

 

This Australian mud cake recipe is from Planet Cake.... http://akitchencat.com.au/tag/planet-cake/

 

When using a recipe that contains bicarb soda / baking soda - then the cocoa must be natural (not dutch processed which has been treated with alkaline).  The chemical reactions and taste are affected by using the wrong one.

 

Your other problem with Pam's recipe might just be that you aren't the 'mud cake' kind of girl.  Mud cakes are dense (tho rubbery is definitely not an adjective I would use) and very very very chocolately.  If you dont like chocolate, then dont eat mud cake!!!


Thank you. Yes, things mold very well in my climate, unfortunately. I do love chocolate, which is why I wanted to try a mudcake. I didn't know that about cocoa powder and just checked mine (it's natural, not dutch processed). I will try the recipe you suggested and hope it comes out better! Otherwise I'll just eat the ganache as it is!

:D 

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