A couple of weeks ago I blind-tasted and gave my humble opinion on which muddy boy was better – Coles or Woolies. The answers were surprising and went against everything I had previously believed. But now I needed to put my money (?) where my mouth is and walk the walk after talking the talk. I chucked my apron on and made my own mud boy, in an attempt to emulate the iconic ones from the shops.
What absolutely nobody told me was that making mud cakes is a fucking task and will take up way more time than you think it will.
After trying to find the right recipe that would result in that perfectly dense and delicious chocolate decadence – which included one from Woolies itself that ends with “if you don’t have time just buy a mud cake” – I settled on this one from Delicious.com.au claiming to be the ‘Ultimate Chocolate Mud Cake Recipe’. I’ll be the judge of that one thank you.
First up, I gathered all of my ingredients.
Ok yes don’t yell at me I know I forgot to include the cocoa powder in here. Get off my back, jeez.
So the first step is to melt down the choccy that’s going into the cake itself. Mud cakes are moist as hell which apparently means you have to put a whole bloody block of butter in it. That’s simply too much butter, I can’t.
Next up you sift flour and cocoa powder together in another bowl, and then dump in a metric fuckload of sugar. I’m not going to be sleeping for weeks after this.
Oh and lightly whisk up four eggs.
Here’s how everything looks together before I had to take a break for a second because it had already been like 45mins at this point.
Now we’ve stepped back into the kitchen after a short sit down and a small existential crisis about why the fuck you’re even doing this and putting so much effort in after a long day at work and then spending all your saved-up beer money on getting your car fixed, you have to fold all of these things together.
Which means I get to reference my favourite Schitt’s Creek scene ever.
— Schitt's Creek (@SchittsCreek) June 4, 2019
You fold it in!
Anyway, now we’re all nice and folded in, and we’re looking like mud. Which I assume is good. Mud is the right thing to be going for with a Woolies mud cake, right?
I used all of the core strength I’ve been working in with my regular Yoga With Adriene sessions (cheers gal) to hoick up the bowl and pour the mud slop (that’s it’s name now) into a springloaded baking pan that I was about 73% certain was big enough.
And into the oven it went.
The recipe called for it to be baked at 160ºC for “60 to 70 minutes” so I bunged the timer on for an hour and had dinner and a shower. Which I needed. Desperately.
I left the cake to its own devices in the oven, praying it wouldn’t overflow. Please don’t overflow. I just need one (1) win today, cake.
An hour later and the cake was still quite gooey inside, so it was back in the oven for another 10 minutes. A total of 70 minutes. An hour and ten mins. Christ.
Attempt two at checking to see if it was cooked and it was still leaving cake batter on the knife.
Back in for another 10 minutes (an hour and twenty minutes, now.)
By this point I was tired, it was at least 10pm and I had started baking like three hours earlier.
Finally, after a whole 80 minutes in the oven, it was seemingly cooked on the inside. Out it came from the oven to cool completely. Which meant that I left it on a rack on the stovetop under a tea towel overnight. I’m going to bed, screw you, cake.
Back at it the next morning, I crossed my heart and hoped for the best as I popped the cooled cake out of the tin. Thank GOD it worked. I think.
Next up was the ganache, which meant MORE chocolate and MORE butter melted down in a bowl over simmering water.
Seriously, look at this shit in the daylight. It’s so porny, I can’t deal. It looks so good and I just want to eat it by the spoonful.
After letting the choc ganache cool, I slathered it over the cake with an approach that is probably best described as “an attempt was made.”
Ok now for the iconic white squiggle over the top. That Woolies mud cake recipe I checked out earlier suggested to melt down some marshmallows in the microwave and string them atop the cake. Sadly, in the age of COVID my local shops have entirely sold out of marshmallows. The fuck am I meant to do now? I can’t just give up here.
Some quick thinking in the baking aisle of the supermarket led me to think “well, what if I just make a white chocolate ganache? That’s a thing I can do, right?” so I grabbed a pack of white choc baking bits and cycled home.
Here goes nothing.
Look, this is the closest we’re gonna get at this point and it’s nearly been 24 fucking hours since I started this quest. Let’s get that drizzle on.
This is the perfect example of expectation vs. reality.
The all-important moment of truth was the taste test. And you know what? It’s fucken delicious. It’s dense and chocolatey, the top’s got a bit of an accidental crunch to it but oh my lord it’s yum. Does it beat a Woolies mud boy? Hard to say. But I do feel like that cursed cook in Matilda who baked that huge cake for Bruce Bogtrotter to eat.
The only downside here is now I have an entire mud cake to eat. Again.Image: Woolworths / Courtney Fry