Cake extravaganza

Grown up birthdays are going to be on the back burner for us for a while - the small person doesn't allow for a whole night spent away yet, and most certainly would not support a cocktail party. So in an attempt to make the bread winner's birthday a bit special, I came up with a cake extravaganza.

I'm not quite sure what to call it. Being a layered mud cake, I thought something geology-related might be nice. Then again, the chocolate, caramel and nut layers make it somewhat like a Snickers bar. All I know is that it isn't for the faint hearted or anyone attempting to lose weight.

Unnamed mud cake

Chocolate layer

250g dark chocolate
250g butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup hot water
2 tspn vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Caramel layer

250g butter
200g white chocolate
1 cup, firmly packed, dark brown sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1 tbspn golden syrup
2 tspn vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour


100g milk chocolate
1/4 cup cream
2 tbspn nut paste


200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup cream


Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease 2 x 20 cm square pans and line the bases with baking paper. Starting with the chocolate layer, place the butter, dark chocolate, sugar, oil and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, add vanilla and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Sift the flour and cocoa together. Add the chocolate mix and stir to combine. Place in the batter in one of the pans and bake for 90 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs.

To make the caramel layer, place the white chocolate, sugar, butter, syrup, water and vanilla in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and add to the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes until a skewer in the middle comes out with crumbs.

Remove both layers from the oven and allow to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the filling, melt the milk chocolate, then add the cream. Beat with a spoon until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir through the nut paste.

Finally melt the remaining dark chocolate, then add the cream and beat until smooth and glossy.

To assemble the cake, use a cake layer slicer/leveler to cut the chocolate cake into two even halves. Level the caramel layer. Place one of the chocolate layers on a serving plate, then spread with half the nut filling. Top with the caramel layer, and cover with the remaining nut filling. Place the second chocolate layer on top. Spread the ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Allow the filling to set, then serve. As a very rich cake, this should be enough for at least 16 people.


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