River Cottage Australia



Paul enters the men-only Bega show cake competition using his grandmother’s recipe. He calls it: Nanna West's Murrurundi mountain mud cake


  • 250g unsalted butter

  • 200g high quality dark cooking chocolate

  • 2 cups (450g) of sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 cup (180g) self-raising flour

  • 1 ½ cup (270g) plain flour

  • ¼ cup dutch cocoa

  • Pinch of pink salt

  • Icing

  • 300g butter

  • 100g icing sugar

  • 40g milk

  • 40g cocoa

  • 50g dark cooking chocolate


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 160C, grease and line a 23cm round, spring-form cake tin.

  • 2.

    Sieve flours and cocoa. (Don't skimp on this step! Your cake and those who eat it will appreciate the effort).

  • 3.

    Combine the chocolate and butter together in a bowl that will sit comfortably on a pot of gently simmering water. You could be really lazy and just put of block of chocolate in with a block of butter, though roughly breaking/cutting up both up before hand will speed things along.

  • 4.

    Whisk together eggs and sugar, by hand if you're feeling particularly energetic or by machine if you're like the rest of us. Keep going until they look smooth and light. Pour in the milk and mix until combined.

  • 5.

    Sieve flour cocoa mix again into cake batter, this one you could probably skip, just don't tell Nan that I said that. Gently combine until smooth.

  • 6.

    Fold through melted chocolate and butter (reserve bowl), with a pinch of Murray River pink salt.

  • 7.

    Pour the mixture into cake tin and let it all rest in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

  • 8.

    Once rested get that baby in the oven for an hour and a half, give it a turn around halfway. The cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out dotted with a few moist crumbs.

  • 9.

    Let the cake stand for a few minutes, then transfer from the tin to a cooling rack.

  • 10.

    While the cake is cooling you can make the icing. Using the same bowl as before, melt the chocolate. Mix together the butter, cocoa and icing sugar until smooth. Slowly add the milk, then the melted chocolate. Beat it all together until the mix is smooth and fluffy

  • 11.

    Once the cake is cool, spread icing mixture evenly on top. For a final touch, Nan used to give the whole thing a light dusting of cocoa.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (26 servings)

  • Energy 344kj
  • Fat Total 21g
  • Saturated Fat 13g
  • Protein 3g
  • Carbohydrate 39g
  • Sugar 26g
  • Sodium 25mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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