500 grams butter
300 grams white chocolate
4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
4 vanilla beans scraped
450 grams plain flour
150 grams self raising flour
4 tbs cocoa powder
1200 grams milk chocolate
500 mls cream
5 vanilla beans
Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius. I used a 23 cm silicone cake tin but if you are using a regular tin grease and line it with baking paper. In a medium saucepan place butter and melt on low for 5 minutes, to that add the white chocolate, sugar, milk, cream and vanilla beans, and stir occasionally until all the ingredients have melted together. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Sift flours into a large bowl and mix in wet ingredients, add beaten eggs. The mixture is to be divided into 4 cakes (which turned out to be approximately 5 soup ladles full), I cooked them one at a time as I only had one 23cm cake tin. Once you have cooked 2 vanilla layers, stir the cocoa powder in the batter and cook 2 chocolate layers (I much prefered the 'white' mud cake so next time I will omit this step, but it looks gorgeous in the layers.)
For the ganache, heat the cream and split vanilla beans until just before it comes to the boil. Using a bar mix blend the vanilla and cream together and strain to eliminate any chunky bits of bean that was left over (I don't usually do this as I find the bean breaks down sufficiently, but my beans were older and harder, so do this if you beans are too.) Pour hot cream over chocolate and use bar mix to blend together until smooth and glossy. Allow this to cool for 20 minutes until thickened sufficiently so that you can spread it without it sliding everywhere.
To layer the cake spread a 1/2 cup to a cup of ganache between each layer and cover the outside of the cake with ganache. I used cadbury chocolate fingers to rim the outside of the cake with a ribbon wrapped around them to secure them in place (do this when the ganache is still pliable so that the chocolate sticks are able to stick in place.) You could also use twix, kit kats, round chocolate biscuits would look cute especially if you could find white chocolate covered ones to alternate between, the list is endless and of course you could leave it the way it is with ganache only.
Since my husband is a four wheel driving fanatic, I used the chocolate on top of the cake as a mud pit and decorated it with some new hot wheels four wheel drives (my 3 year old son was devastated at this - he came over just as I was about to put the cars on as I had been hiding them from him on purpose knowing what the outcome would be if he saw them, he asked me what they were for so I showed him and quickly drove one into the mud to get it bogged and he burst out in tears, very cute and funny, as he found it hard to wait until the next day to play with the cars. He would continually pull me over to the fridge and ask for the trucks, but was very excited when we got to sing happy birthday because that meant that he could now play with them!)
Pull the cake out of the fridge a couple of hours before you intend to serve it so the ganache can come to room temperature, I would suggest longer if it is a cold day. This is enough to serve 50-60 party guests. Slice in 2cm x 2cm slices as this is super rich and you do not need a large amount.
|Heat the cream and vanilla beans for the ganache.|
|spreading the ganache over the first layer.|
|Placing the second layer on top|
|Decorated with matchbox cars|
|Sliced mud cake|