Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mud, Monuments and Memorials

Mississippi Mud Cake. What is that? Mississippi mud cake has a pecan studded brownie like base, then a layer of marshmallows and then it's covered in a layer of sweet chocolaty frosting that is similar to the frosting on a chocolate sheet cake. Sounds good huh? This cake was baked by The Cake Slice Bakers and comes from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.

This is the recipe that made me want to buy this book. I remember browsing through it at Borders and drooling over the photo in the cookbook. It lingered in my mind and eventually I went back to get it. So I was thrilled when The Cake Slice Bakers voted it as their cake of choice for February. I made this for Valentine's Dinner at my mom's last week. One slice is so rich and sweet we didn't even eat a 1/4 of the recipe between 7 of us. So I would suggest baking half the recipe in an 8x8 inch pan.

This cake wasn't as spectacular as I hoped it would have been. It was good but I did not care for the cake aspect of this recipe. It was essentially an unleavened chocolate cake, similar in form to a brownie (not fudgey) but dense and somewhat dry and wasn't very flavorful. In all fairness I did cut back on the sugar a bit in the cake since the frosting was so sweet. I would try this again with a brownie base or a different cake recipe and I would halve the amount of frosting. This cake was firm but gooey, sticky and sweet. If you're a fan of SUGAR, chocolate and marshmallows then this cake is for you!

Mississippi Mud Cake from Southern Cakes Printable Version

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into big chunks
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Frosting:

  • 16 oz. or 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. In a medium saucepan combine the butter and cocoa powder and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the butter is melted and the mixture is well blended, about 3 – 4 minutes (I did this in the microwave). Stir in the beaten eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt and pecans and beat until the batter is well combined and the flour has disappeared.

Quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cake springs back when touched gently in the center and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.

While the cake bakes, prepare the frosting so it is ready to pour over the hot cake. (I suggest doing this right before the cake is done so the frosting doesn't set up in the bowl).

In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and stir to mix well. Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla and beat everything together well. Set aside until the cake is done.

Remove the cake from the oven, scatter the marshmallows over the top and then return the cake to the hot oven for about 3 minutes to soften the marshmallows.

Place the cake, still in the pan, on a wire rack. Pour the frosting all over the marshmallow dotted cake and eat right away or allow to cool to room temperature. Cut the cake into squares and serve.

_________________________________________________

Here are more pictures of Memorials and Monuments in the DC area. It snowed all day Friday and Saturday that we were there, but on Sunday (Superbowl Sunday!) it was a gorgeous day. We called a cab to take us to brunch but he never showed up so the hotel called a private driver who was close by to drive us around. It just so happens that he does private tours so he drove us around DC for 4 hours! He was so knowledgeable and such an intelligent man. He was an amazing tour guide and we're glad our paths crossed. I'm also glad we went on such a beautiful day. There were clear sunny skies and the snow glistened like glitter. Someone said it sparkled like diamonds and I think I like that analogy much better :-)

This is the Washington Monument. Notice the difference in color in the stone about a quarter of the way up? Well that's because they ran out of money when they were building it! When they later had enough funds to finish the monument they returned to the same quarry and purchased the same kind of stone only later to realize that the newer batch did not quite match so they're different colors.

* * * * * * * * *

This is the Jefferson Memorial. We did not get to get up close and personal with President Jefferson since the memorial was closed. The pathways leading up to it were covered in snow but we admired it from afar. The picture above is the front and the picture below is the backside. There is a huge statue of Jefferson that stands in the center of the monument that we could see as we drove around it but it's not visible from these views.

* * * * * * * * *

This is the Lincoln Memorial. We were able to get pretty close to the memorial but we weren't allowed to walk up the steps that led to the famous President sitting in a giant chair since they were also covered in snow. Imagine that?! At the top of the memorial above the columns are all the 50 states. Texas is on the front side on the left, right next to Florida. Ingrid we're neighbors after all :-)

* * * * * * * * *

This is the Supreme Court, which is right across from the Capitol. It has a gorgeous golden door at the entrance.

And finally the US Capitol. We were able to walk up the steps all the way up to the front, then across and back down. There were people on the lawn in skis going down the hill as well as families on sleds. They looked like they were having fun. why not? BTW, did you know that the Texas Capitol is the only state capitol that is taller than the US capitol by about 15 feet? You know what they say...Everything is bigger in Texas!

I have more photos for you that I'll share over time unless you're getting bored already :-) Enjoy!

37 comments:

Coleen's Recipes said...

BEAUTIFUL photos!! I've never been to that part of the country, so nice to see it. I've always thought that the mud cake looks delicious, although it needs a new name haha.

Just Me said...

Ooh! DC is so pretty with snow! Every time I head into DC, it's raining.

Katie said...

Your cake looks lovely. Shame you weren't impressed with it. I personally loved it - but then I left off the marshmallows as my family don't like them and I think this helped.

Stunning pictures from your visit

Marie said...

Oh, gosh, like it or not, that cake looks fabulous and I am loving your pictures of Washington. How very pretty!!

Valerina said...

You are killing me, I just went for a run and now these bars just popped up! They look too good not to make, marshmallow and chocolate can't be passed up. Thanks for sharing the recipe and beautiful photos! :>

♥peachkins♥ said...

gosh, I'm drooling!

LDH said...

ALL of your recipes and photos are delightful but I really love visiting your blog because it is such a bright cheerful place. I always feel happy when I leave :)

Kindly, ldh

mbc said...

Keep cooking AND sharing your gorgeous vacation photos. I will never tire of them--DC has a special place in my heart as my husband and I were engaged there--at the Lincoln Memorial, to be exact. In the snow...and his knee was wet!

Megan said...

I was all set to make that cake, but thanks to your honest review, I think I'll skip the cake part.

I've never been to the capital, thanks for the great pictures!

cookies and cups said...

gorgeous photos! That mud cake looks so yummy! too bad it wasn't your most favorite, but from your pictures it looks like a winner ;)

symphonious sweets said...

I love the way your marshmellows really hold up to the frosting! It looks yummy.

From the Kitchen said...

Monica: Thanks for "visiting" and responding to my e-mail. Yikes, your neighborhood grocery store was a lot more expensive than ours! My boys didn't grow up with a neighborhood store but our oldest lived in NYC when first married so had lots of neighborhood stores.
Love the additional photos. D.C. looks so clean and peaceful under all that snow. Our friends who live in Bethesda are still digging out. By the way, your post today is way too tempting. I'm off to the grocery store with list in hand. As far as I'm concerned anything chocolate has got to be good. Have a delicious weekend.

Memória said...

Well, I never knew about all those factoids about those monuments. Cool information!! I'm so sorry that you didn't get to Lincoln up close. It really is cool. I think I have some photos of him closeup that I could show you one day.

The "cake" looks good, but I believe you if you say it was a disappointment. I'll always trust my fellow Texans' tastebuds over anyone haha. I'm not crazy about marshmallows, but this treat still looks fantastic. Take care, neighbor!

nanny said...

Beautiful pictures....and the cake...oh my!!!! And I'm not a chocolate lover...that one I would go for!!!

Laura said...

Hey! I had this in a coffee shop last year and I didn't like it either, the bottom layer was a disappointment. I'm not sure what it lacked besides flavor and personality though. It could be done better.

Sandy said...

I love Miss.Mud Cake!! I just happened to see it while visiting Julie Harward's blog. I love Chocolate. I think I am going to make that or your sheet cake recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I make this cake and it is wonderful. In fact, I hate to make it...I eat too much of it!

Leslie Limon said...

You're cake squares are bakery quality. VERY NICE! And what gorgeous pics of DC! Thank you so much for sharing with those of us who have never visited.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I love how honest you are about reviewing recipes. I'm sorry this didn't measure up to your standards-- which I totally trust. Still, you made this look gorgeous!
As for your photos-- bring 'em on! No way a I bored with it.

Rachel said...

I halved the recipe and cut down on sugar quite a bit and must say I loved it..your cake is gorgeous!

Jo said...

Great job on your cake and I love the look of the marshamallow topping.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Fantastic delicious cake and stunning pics u have on ur lovely blog......
Love what u did to the red vevet cake so so muc...they look like little hearts there.....

Cheers and have a wonderful sunday ok....

tamilyn said...

Your pictures are beautiful and what a bonus to meet someone with so much city knowledge-and not some 'touristy guide'. Those bars look awesome; my teeth hurt looking at the photo ;-)

Gracey said...

I loved your Washington pictures. As for the cake, I wouldn't know, since we don't have marshmellows in Greece. :(

Andrew's Mom said...

Great pics and the cake looks divine. I shared your corn muffin dogs with my niece who was serving white chili at a party yesterday and she said they were a hit! She was so impressed with my vast knowledge of great food bloggers.

The Bahens said...

Lovely pictures of DC, and as usual, lovely photos of your cake!

OvenDelights said...

I made a mess of mine when it came to slicing! Yours looks so perfect! :)

Julie said...

Wonderful cake pics! I like how it came out so neat :)

The Duchess of Wessex said...

Your tour of DC photos are fantastic! The cake looks amazing, but I would agree with you on it. Too rich for my taste! But you made it look beautiful!!

Maria said...

What a rich dessert! Love it and the photos are fabulous!

Sook said...

Oh amazing!!! I want to make these for my son's birthday. :)

Caroline said...

How did you get your frosting to stay put? Mine oozed out the sides, probably cuz I took it out of the pan while still warm. Great job & nice pics of DC.

Debbie said...

Very nice pictures Monica and you should see what all that snow looks like here now! One slushy mess. I will be happy when it is finally all gone! The cake looks good and I would like to give it a try....love chocolate with marshmallows!!!

unconfidentialcook said...

Love the chocolate!!! Paula makes a similar one (the only thing we really make of hers) and, if you can believe it, The Most Delicious Brownies (on my site) are Bruce's favorite dessert.

bella said...

Your M.M. cake turned out a little different then mine, but I think that's because I added too much sugar to the frosting . . . because after it cooled off (we served it very warm and gooey) it (the frosting) really hardened up a lot - which we like our frosting mor runny like yours! Good job on your cake! Roz

Amber said...

Wow..I wish I wasn't so sick all the time and I could keep up with your blog...if I'd known you were in my hood I could've tried to meet up with you. It seems you know more about it than me! I have never noticed the two different colors on the monument. Thanks for sharing your pics and teaching me a bit about history!

Lissaloo said...

The next time I get asked to make brownies I am doing these! Yummy :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails