This one was such a big hit I had to make it twice. Oh, you gave up chocolate for Lent? Or maybe sweets? Well, this would definitely be off limits; but hey, today is Sunday so it’s not technically one of the 40 days of Lent. Plus Easter is only a week away.
I’m a huge fan of Paula Deen, and not long ago I read her autobiography, Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’. If you like Paula and you like to cook, you’ll love this account of Paula’s journey through life–the ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, joys and sorrows; all in Paula’s unmistakable southern style. (I don’t think I’ve read a book that has the word y’all in it so many times.) One thing I love about her book is that at the end of every chapter, she gives you one of her recipes. When we had friends over one evening not long ago, I decided to make her Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert.
MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
One 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (Moe is allergic to nuts; I left these out)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
2. Combine the sugar, salt, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Bring the butter, oil, cocoa, and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add to the flour mixture.
3. Beat together the eggs, baking soda, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the chocolate mixture, mix well, and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
4. While the cake is baking, make the icing by melting the butter in the cocoa and milk over low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Slowly mix in the nuts and the vanilla. Take the cake from the oven, and when it cools a bit cover it with miniature marshmallows. Pour the warm icing over the cake and the marshmallows. Cool the cake before serving.
Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’, by Paula Deen. p. 47-48
If you have a sweet tooth, this is the dessert for you. Being on a gluten free diet prevents me from eating this (I’m not brave enough to do much gluten free baking), but I did take a teensy taste. I think this would even be too sweet for me. The boys loved it, though–and Joe says it’s great with ice cream–and Curly even requested this for his birthday.
I have a less-sweet (and slightly more healthy because it uses whole-wheat flour) recipe for mud cake in an old kids’ cookbook. I’m pretty sure I made it at least once for Moe years ago because there is no milk or egg in the recipe. Nowadays he can eat baked goods that have eggs and milk in them, and he loved this cake. The boys balked at the idea of me making a different version (Less sugar?? Whole wheat flour?? OH THE HORROR!!); although when I suggested that my mother-in-law’s homemade hot fudge would make a great icing for it they enthusiastically approved. I think I have the recipe somewhere; although I’m not entirely sure I would be able to make it as yummy as she does.
Have a wonderful Palm Sunday!