Salt & Vinegar Topped Chocolate Mud Cake

My sister is possibly the world’s biggest fan of salt and vinegar chips, so when I saw this cake many months ago I locked it in as a birthday treat. To be sure, when you first describe the cake to people there might be some scepticism but once they have tasted it all those doubts are quickly erased. So here it is, a most delicious salt and vinegar topped chocolate mud cake. Of course, the mud cake alone is fabulous and is now my go to chocolate mud cake recipe too.

Serves: 1 double layer cake

Preparation Time: Around 2 hours to bake the cakes, prepare the ganache, the chips and the caramel and compile your cake!

Ingredients

For the cake:

+ 340 g. flour
+ 680 g white sugar
+ 142 g cocoa powder
+ 1 tablespoon baking powder
+ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
+ 1 teaspoon salt
+ 4 eggs
+ 2 egg yolks
+ 1 1/2 cup buttermilk * 
+ 1/2 cup sour cream
+ 185 g unsalted butter, melted
+ 2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee, hot
+ 1 cup chocolate ganache (recipe below)
+ 1 quantity of salt & vinegar shoestring chip (recipe below)

+ 1 cup fortified caramel (recipe below)
Buttermilk can be made by adding a touch of white vinegar to plain milk and left to sit.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

+ 1  cup thickened cream
+ 28 g glucose (also known as corn syrup)
+ 56 g unsalted butter
+ 450 g dark chocolate, finely chopped.

For the Salt and Vinegar Shoestring Chips:

+ 200 g potatoes
+ 1/4 cup salt flakes
+ 1 tablespoon vinegar
+ vegetable oil

For the Fortified Caramel:

+ 226 g white sugar
+ 2 1/2 tablespoons water
+ 1 tbsp glucose (also known as corn syrup)
+ 1 cup thickened cream
+ 1/2 cup double cream
+ 56 g unsalted butter

Method

For the Cake and Assembly:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare two 25 cm or 10″ cake pans by buttering the bottom and sides, lining the bottom with parchment paper and buttering the paper. Set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt) in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs for about a minute until broken a part. Add the buttermilk and sourcream to the eggs. Mix until blended well.

With the mixer on low, pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients slowly. Mix until the mixture is completely blended and homogeneous. With the mixer on low, pour in the melted butter slowly and mix in well. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla and the the hot coffee slowly, mixing well after each addition. Mix in until the batter is completely blended. This will make an incredibly liquid cake mix, but don’t worry as this is the secret to a nice moist cake. Divide the batter between the cake pans, filling each half way to the top. You may have a little cake batter left over.

Place the cake pans in the preheated oven and bake for 45 to  minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out just barely clean (a few straggling crumbs is ok). Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans on a cooling wrack. Allow the cakes to cool completely to the touch. 

Meanwhile, make your other toppings for decoration. Prepare the ganache first, as it must sit for at least 45 minutes, giving you time to make the chips and sauce before you put your cake together. 

To decorate: level the cakes by removing the dome from the top of each layer. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate, flipping your top cake upside down to give you a smooth top. Spread a small amount of ganache on the top layer. Place the second layer carefully on top. Pour ganache over the top of the cake and gently coerce the ganache to form a smooth, even shell along the top and sides of the cake, using an icing spatula.

Making sure the shoestring chips are completely dry and void of excess oil, top the cake with a bird’s-nest-like mound of chips. When you are ready to eat the cake, drizzle the caramel over the top of the chips and cake.

To make the Ganache:

Place the cream, glucose, and unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove from the heat and let the bubbles subside. Add the chocolate to the pot and stir constantly until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is even. Let the ganache cool before using, about 45 minutes to an hour.

To make the Salt and Vinegar Shoestring Chips:
Using a garnishing knife, lemon zester or julienne peeler slice thin strings out of the potatoes as thin as you can get them . Dry all of the shoe strings very well with paper towels and set aside. NOTE: They key here is to get the shoestrings as thin as possible but making them fairly long as well. If they are not thin they will take too long to cook and may become brown during the cooking process.

In a small bowl, mix together the salt and vinegar (it will be damp and clumpy). Set aside. Heat the vegetable oil to 180°C in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. I suggest using a candy or frying thermometer when heating oil as precise temperature is required for properly frying. Too low of a temperature will require longer cooking times and soggy chips; too high of a cooking temperature will cause the chips to brown too soon.

Add the potato slices to the oil in small batches. Using tongs, delicately shape the shoestrings chips as they fry –  clumping them together in the center will help create a nest-like shape. Fry for 1-3 minutes or until the chips just begin to turn a pale gold and appear crunchy and firm.

Remove the chips with a slotted spoon, letting all the excess oil drip off. Place the chips on a plate lined with paper towels or news paper just for a moment to absorb some of the excess oil. Place the chips immediately in a large bowl. Add a small amount of the salt and vinegar mixture and toss until the chips are coated. If you don’t want to break the nest shape created during frying, omit this step and simply sprinkle vinegar and salt over the chips.

Remove the chips to another plate lined with paper towels or newspaper to absorb the remaining oil and to cool. Repeat above method with the remaining potato strings. Allow the chips cool completely before serving, so as to allow them to crisp us while drying out. 

To make the Fortified Caramel:

Place the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add the glucose and stir in. Watching carefully, boil until the sugar is a caramel or dark amber color. Remove from the heat immediately. Carefully pour in the cream while stirring. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Let the caramel cool.

 

Original recipe sourced from Chasing Delicious.

2 thoughts on “Salt & Vinegar Topped Chocolate Mud Cake

  1. While the thought of this cake didn’t really entice me at all the opposite occurred when I saw it I just had to have some. I would just like to say I was pleasantly surprised.

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