We love an excuse to have a tea party at the Zana Studio and what better reason than a visit from a handsome fella? To celebrate one of the Zana Girls’ new baby boy our in-house pâtisserista made this super indulgent, over-the-top cake appropriately nicknamed Mnt. Sugar Rushmore.
These heavily decorated cakes with perfect chocolate ganache drips are all the rage right now, flooding our Instagram and Pinterest feeds – Unbirthday Bakery and Katherine Sabbath’s creations being our ultimate favourites!
Mnt. Sugar Rushmore
Prep time: 60 mins, excluding baking and icing time
Baking time: up to 2 hours
Serves 16 (makes an 8 inch round cake that is about 3 inches high)
Chocolate Mud Cake:
(Recipe from My Cupcake Addiction)
50g salted butter
250g dark chocolate, chopped
10g instant coffee
180ml warm water
300g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
60g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 eggs, lightly beaten
70g vegetable oil
125ml buttermilk (make your own by adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the same amount of full cream milk and let it stand for 10 minutes)
1/2 tin of Caramel Treat
a good pinch of Maldon salt flakes
Vanilla Buttercream Icing:
500g icing sugar, sifted
250g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blue food colouring
300g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
150ml pouring cream
Edible Gold Glitter
(You can pretty much put whatever your heart desires on top!)
For the Chocolate Mud Cake:
Preheat your oven to 160°C.
Grease and line your 8 inch baking tin. If it’s a spring form just line the base with a grease-proof paper round. If it’s a regular tin you need to line the base and sides to avoid sticking!
Combine the butter, water and coffee in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat until they come to a slow boil. Turn off heat and pour in the chopped chocolate, stirring until it is completely melted. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa, sugar and baking soda together in a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Pour in the eggs, buttermilk, oil and chocolate mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for approx 1.5 hours removing when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. I’d advise you check the cake after an hour and then check it again every 10 – 15 minutes
Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before removing. Turn the cake out onto a cake board and onto it’s ‘head’ so that the perfect bottom is now on top. Cut in half and leave to cool further.
Useful storage tips if not icing immediately:
- This cake freezes well as long as it’s double plastic wrapped. Freeze for up to a month.
- Otherwise store airtight in the fridge for up to a week until ready to use.
- Good to be eaten for a week from the day it’s baked, but should be stored in the fridge and should ideally be served at room temperature
For Salted Caramel:
Scoop out 1/2 the tin of Caramel Treat into a mixing bowl and add a good pinch of Maldon salt flakes. Mix well to combine and spread over the bottom half of the cooled cake. Crush a few Whispers/Maltesers and sprinkle over the caramel if you like, then sandwich the top back on.
For the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer withed with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Gradually start adding the sifted icing sugar until it is all incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat the mixture until it’s smooth, light and fluffy. If you want it to be a looser consistency, add a bit of milk, tablespoon at a time, until you are happy. Finally, beat in the food colouring until well mixed through. Transfer about 1/2 cup of the icing to a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle and keep the rest aside in the mixing bowl.
Using a large spatula, cover the cake with a neat ‘crumb layer’ of the butter icing and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, make your ganache.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
In a small saucepan, heat your cream until JUST before it starts to boil. Pour the cream over your chopped chocolate and let it stand for a minute before stirring until smooth. Set aside and continue with the frosting.
Remove the cake from the fridge and do your top frosting layer as neatly as you possibly can. There are tons of tips online on how to achieve smoothly frosted cakes but I kind of wing it. When you’re happy with your frosting job.
Now for the tricky part – pouring over your ganache. Firstly, make sure that your ganache is the consistency of a thick paint that will drip but not run. It’s hard to explain, but you will learn with time what works. Transfer about 1/4 cup of the ganache to a disposable piping bag without a nozzle and set aside. Then, carefully pour ganache on the top of your cake till it reaches about 2inches from the edge of the cake. Using your spatula, gently push the ganache to the edge so that it just starts dripping over the edge. Working swiftly, snip the tip of the ganache-filled piping bag and use it to create strategically placed drips as you like.
Set aside your cake and get your decorations ready!
As mentioned, you really can do whatever you like in terms of decorating. We started off with some Cadbury Whispers/Maltesers, tastefully placed Mini Oreos with scatterings of choc chips in between. The buttercream icing that was kept aside in the piping bag can now be used to bring the colour of the frosting onto the top of the cake by piping kisses in between all the chocolatey goodness. Roughly break the Crunchie over the top and finish off with some edible gold glitter sprinklings.
Done! Now go impress everyone and warn them to only have a tiny sliver of this decadent cake (don’t say we didn’t warn you)…
xx Tha Zana Girls