Ever since I told you about my latest obsession, Baked, I haven’t been able to get either of the cookbooks off of my mind. Naturally, I’ve already made four recipes, and plan on making two more this weekend alone. And trust me, I really wish I could have documented what I’ve baked so far better, but the items have been just too good to not gobble up before getting a good photo. Luckily for you, I did manage to photograph one treat, and boy is it a good one. Actually, it probably just so happens to be the favorite thing I’ve made from the cookbooks so far…although, really, I truly have adored them all.
And what have I made so far? The very first day I bought the books, I made the Sweet & Salty Brownies (i.e. fudgy brownie, thin drizzle of decadent, scrumptious, heavenly caramel, then more fudgy brownie layered on, with fleur de sel sprinkled on top). Then, I made the Cowboy Cookies, which are a divine play on chocolate chip cookies: chocolate chunks and pieces of pretzels. These were gone. in. a. flash. And the dough? Don’t even get me started. Next, I made a vanilla cake with a white chocolate frosting. It was so airy and moist, and I kid you not: it can convert hard-core chocoholics to being white chocolate fans.
So while I’m going to share this next recipe with you, and I’ll probably share more with you in the future, I really
want need you to get at least one of the two cookbooks, although I highly recommend both.
Okay, seriously, these pictures do not do justice to this masterpiece. Let me talk you through it: Oreo cookie crust, then flourless chocolate cake, then homemade chocolate pudding, and finally, a homemade whipped cream layer. Yes, it’s absolute heaven. And while it may seem like it would be a really heavy dessert, it’s actually really light and airy.
A few quick notes about the process:
- This may seem like a daunting recipe with its many components. Truth be told, it does take a bit of time to prepare. If you want you can split up the work into different days. I did, however, make it in one day (a weekend, mind you). My suggestion for making it in one day: make the crust and while it’s cooling, mix up the cake; while cake is baking, make the pudding; then, refrigerate the baked cake and pudding (separately, not combined yet!) for at least 3 hours; after chilling, put the pudding on top of the cake, and while that’s chilling for 30 minutes, make the whipped cream. After you top it with whipped cream, you can serve it immediately, or chill it (you store the cake in the fridge).
- If you taste the cake batter, you may find it has a strong coffee flavor. Don’t let this worry you though (if you’re not a coffee fan), because the flavor will mellow out a lot during baking, and as the cake sits in the fridge for a day or so.
- The cake calls for espresso powder…if you get either of the Baked cookbooks, this is a worthy ingredient to invest in, as it’s used quite often. It may be a bit tricky to find, but trust me, it’s worth it. (Fleur de Sel is another investment ingredient if you buy the books, although it’s not used in this recipe).
- If you wanted, the flourless chocolate cake and pudding would both be divine on their own. Seriously, I might make them separately sometime too!
And now, for the recipe:
Mississippi Mud Cake
from Baked: Explorations
Chocolate Cookie Crust:
16 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies (about 35-40 Oreos…just enough in one package to leave a few over for munching on!)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Flourless Chocolate Cake:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%), chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¼ cup strong coffee, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
¾ cup sugar
½ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (use the good stuff…something like Valrhona!)
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 ½ cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%), chopped
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray at 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a cut out round piece of parchment paper and spray the parchment paper and sides of pan again (lightly spray, of course!).
Grind the cookies in a food processor. Put the crumbs in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Mix, and then turn the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides (leave about ½ inch between the top of the crust and the top of the pan). Make sure the crust is spread out evenly, and then put the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Bake the crust until it is dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
For the cake:
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until the mixture is light and has pretty much doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides, and then beat for 5 seconds. Add the coffee mixture and eat until combined. Scrape down the sides and beat for 5 more seconds.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and add the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.
Scoop 1 cup fo the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and using a rubber spatula, fold gently in. After about 30 seconds, add the remaining egg white and continue folding until almost completely combined. Do not rush the process, and work gently. You don’t want to overmix.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust and bake for 38-42 minutes, un til the cake is set but jiggles slightly. It might not appear to be completely cooked, but that’s okay.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. The center will deflate, but don’t worry – that’s just the way it works, and in the end, you won’t be able to tell!
Tightly wrap the cake and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, but possibly overnight.
For the pudding:
In a saucepan, whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Add the egg yolks, whisking until combined. The mixture will appear to be a thick paste. Slowly then pour in the milk, constantly whisking.
Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, constantly whisking. You don’t want any burning on the bottom. Boil for about 30 seconds, and then transfer to a medium bowl. You will think that the mixture isn’t thickening, but then, almost like magic, it will thicken!
Transfer the contents to a medium bowl and add the butter, vanilla, and chocolate. Whisk until combined, and whisk for a few more minutes to cool the mixture slightly. Let the pudding stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, and then press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming as you chill it for at least 3 hours.
For the whipped cream:
Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat with chilled beaters until soft peaks form. Sprinkle sugar on, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Pour the pudding on cake, but don’t let it go over the crust. Spread it evenly on. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Spread the whipped cream on, unmold the cake, and enjoy this delicacy!
My final advice: Make this cake! Buy the books (head on over to a Borders, where you can get a discount, or to Amazon, where you can buy both books for a discounted price as well!)