For the past few years, I’ve always made some kind of pudding to celebrate 4th July. Yes, I know I’m British, but a lot of my friends and ex-colleagues are American. And hey, any excuse to make a cake, right?
This year I thought I’d have a go at a Mississippi Mud Pie. But I have to confess. This ended in disaster…
I haven’t had a baking disaster for a while, so it was extremely frustrating! I followed a recipe from The Telegraph, with the exact ingredients, measurements and so on. However, after over 40 minutes of being in the oven, I could tell that the inside was still quite wobbly. I left it to cool for 20 minutes but could tell it was clearly undercooked. I put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes but the inside was still gloopy! At this stage I was running out of time and didn’t really have a choice, so I took it out and as expected, the thing completely fell apart. The issue is clearly with my oven – I hate the damn thing and can’t wait until we have our own, new one, that I know how to work!
However, what it resulted in was still absolutely delicious! I basically ended up accidentally creating the world’s biggest chocolate fondant! I managed to scoop each layer out of the cake tin and put it into ramekins, with the cream and hazelnut brittle on top!
If you do have a go at this, please let me know how you get on. Or if you can see some kind of glaring mistake in the recipe, I’d love to know where I went wrong!
500g/1lb 4oz dark chocolate
450g/1lb soft brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 x 320g packet of chocolate-covered digestives
400ml/13½fl oz double cream
For the praline
100g/3½oz caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Line a 23cm/9in cake tin with greaseproof paper. In a glass bowl over just-boiling water (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate with 300g butter, stirring occasionally. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light and trebled in volume.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the sugar and egg mix, and fold until combined. Mix in the chocolate and butter. Smash the biscuits in a bowl, and melt the remaining 100g butter. Stir the butter through the biscuits, then press this into the bottom of the cake tin. Pour the chocolate mix over the biscuit base and smooth the top. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until just set. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the praline. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay out the hazelnuts. Place the sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat and try not to stir it. When it begins to caramelise, pour it over the nuts so they are evenly coated and leave to cool. Once cooled and set, smash the praline into pieces with a rolling pin.
Remove the cooled cake from the tin. Whip the cream into soft peaks then dollop over the cake. Sprinkle over the praline pieces and serve.