Jolly Cookathon: Amarula mud cake

Heard about the Jolly Cookathon? It’s our latest community challenge, in celebration of eating together. Entries close on 20 November, get all the details and join in, jolly friend.

Chris Erasmus has cooked for some swanky places, currently making his mark as head chef at Pierneef à la Motte in Franschoek. Chris grew up on culinary 101s in the Karoo while other kids were playing with Wiis and, thanks to his local roots, we now have the pleasure of attempting his chocolate Amarula mud cake. Tasty.

Jolly Cookathon: Amarula mud cake


180g treacle sugar
180g caramel sugar
6 eggs
250ml fresh cream
360g dark chocolate (the very best you can get, 70% cocoa)
360g unsalted butter
60ml Amarula liqueur
(any liqueur would work as a substitute actually,or you could leave it out entirely for a non alcoholic mud cake. If you’re worried about changing the consistency, greek yoghurt can also be used as a substitute)
200g digestive biscuits
100g unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat until light and airy. Add the cream to the egg mixture and incorporate slowly.

Place the chocolate and 360g butter in a heat-proof bowl and place over a pot of water on a gentle boil. Once the chocolate and butter have melted, add to the egg mixture. Stir the Amarula into the mix.

Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and pulse to form a powder. (If you don’t have a processor, place them in a tea towel and crush with a rolling pin.) Pour your melted butter onto your biscuit powder, mix and use to form a base in a 20cm springform cake tin. Press the base tightly down in an even layer and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and press down again.

Pour the chocolate mixture onto the base and bake for 40 minutes – it will look raw but take it out! Leave to set in the refrigerator overnight and serve at room temperature with your favourite ice cream.

Serves 8-10

Chris Erasmus’s recipe for Amarula mud cake is from Taking it Easy, Andy Fenner’s brilliant new compilation cookbook with home entertaining favourites from 20 of South Africa’s leading chefs.