27 March 2011

Mississippi Mud Cake

It's hard to top chocolate cake.  Unless it's topped fresh from the oven with marshmallows, warm chocolate frosting, and toasted pecans.  This dessert, when served warm, has quickly become one of my favorites. 

I stumbled upon this recipe by accident.  I was looking for a recipe for Mississippi Mud Pie and I couldn't decide on what one to use.  Every recipe I found was drastically different from the next, and none of them sounded particularly good.  Most of them also called for pudding mix or whipped topping; which weren't ingredients I wanted to use.  Plus, having never eaten Mississippi Mud Pie, I didn't know which recipe was traditional or authentic. 

I went to the Food Network site to look for a recipe, and when I was typing in the search field, "Mississippi Mud Cake" was a suggested search option.  I looked through the cake recipes and decided to go with Emeril's rendition.  Bam!

This cake is best served warm.  The cake is moist, dense, rich, and not too sweet; and it goes nicely with the soft, warm, gooey sweetness of the marshmallows.  The liquid hot chocolate frosting also contributes to the gooey meltiness.  The subtle crunch and flavor of the toasted nuts is the perfect way to finish the cake. 

Mississippi Mud Cake
Recipe inspired by Emeril Lagasse
Printable Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces mini marshmallows

For the frosting:
4 ounces unsalted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
16 ounces confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), lightly toasted

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 by 13-inch pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the cocoa and water.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add the cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Next, add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake passes the toothpick test.

Transfer to a wire rack and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over the hot cake.

For the frosting:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the cocoa powder and buttermilk.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, remove from the heat and add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth.

Immediately pour the icing over the marshmallows on the cake and sprinkle with nuts. Let the cake cool to lukewarm before serving.



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