Sweet, buttery and wonderfully delicious, a slice of caramel mud cake is just as good as the traditional chocolate version – some might say even better! It makes a fabulous celebratory cake for birthdays, weddings or any occasion you please, especially when topped with beautiful, delicate toffee dragonflies.
• Cooking oil spray, for greasing
• 250g butter, chopped
• 2 cups brown sugar
• 1 cup milk
• 200g white cooking chocolate, chopped
• 1½ cups plain flour
• ½ cup self-raising flour
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• Toffee dragonflies, for decorating (see below)
• ¼ cup caster sugar
• 2 Tbsp water
• ¼ cup pure cream, warmed
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 200g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
• 2 cups icing sugar mixture
Note: Allow 35 minutes cooling
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20 x 7cm round cake tin with cooking oil spray and line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang.
Put butter, sugar and milk in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and cook until butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Do not boil. There will still be a few small specks of chocolate in the mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to cool to room temperature.
Sift flours over cooled mixture and stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and egg and whisk until smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. Loosely cover with foil and bake for a further 55-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside in tin to cool to room temperature. Using a serrated knife, trim off the top cap of the cake, still leaving a slight dome.
To make buttercream icing, put caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 6 minutes or until caramel turns light amber. Remove pan from heat. Add cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add caramel and beat for a further 2 minutes.
Transfer cake to a serving plate. Spread buttercream icing over top and side of cake in a thick layer to coat. Decorate with toffee dragonflies to serve.
To make toffee dragonflies
Draw twelve 10cm-long dragonfly shapes on a large sheet of baking paper. Flip paper and use to line a large oven tray.
Put ¾ cup caster sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes or until it turns very light amber. Remove from heat. It will continue to darken in colour. Stand for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles subside. Dip a teaspoon in toffee; it should run like thin honey. If not, allow to cool for a little longer.
Dip teaspoon back into toffee and drizzle to trace over dragonfly shapes. If toffee begins to firm up and is hard to work with, return to heat for 1 minute or until runny. Set aside at room temperature to allow dragonflies to harden. Do not refrigerate.
Note: You can make these dragonflies up to 3 days ahead. Store them in an airtight container lined with baking paper, ensuring they do not touch each other. You won’t need all 12, but making extra will ensure you have enough, in case of any accidental breakages.