Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chocolate Mud Cake

No rest for the wicked… the birthday candles have been packed away and the kids put to bed, and I’m already back in the kitchen working on my next baking project. The Decorating with Chocolate class I’m doing tomorrow requires students to take their own cake to decorate, so I’m sticking with the chocolate theme and baking a mud cake.

I’ve never made a mud cake before, and all I can say is that I hope it’s supposed to be a REALLY runny batter. And I hope I’ve lined the tin enough, as it’s supposed to take around an hour and forty minutes to cook. I didn’t have any brown paper, so I just lined the inside of the tin with baking paper and wrapped quite a few layers of newspaper around the outside.

I’m finding the thought of having newspaper in the oven a little nerve-wracking, even though my cake decorating book assures the reader that it won’t burn because the oven temperature is low enough to be safe (so, what is Fahrenheit 451 in Celsius, anyway?). Safe or not, the strange smell that started coming from the oven within minutes of putting the cake in almost made me want to pull it back out and take off the newspaper collar. But I crossed my fingers and left it on, and I sincerely hope that the dodgy smell is just the volatiles in the ink burning off.

I’ll be stoked if my first mud cake turns out as well as my first Madeira cake, but I won’t be losing any sleep if it doesn’t. I just need a cake to decorate tomorrow, it’s not for a special occasion, and it’s a good opportunity to try another new recipe. Whether the tin in the oven holds a mud cake or a mud brick, that’s what I’ll be decorating tomorrow.

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