My son is football mad at the moment and really wanted a cake in the shape of a football shirt and in Neymar’s colours. One look at it, and all the intricate, fancy icing it was covered in, was enough to give me the heebeegeebees. Cake decorator, I’m really not.
Thankfully, I was able to very skilfully steer him away from the shirt and onto a dirt cake (well played, mamma!).
For those of you who haven’t yet come across these, the “dirt” aspect of the cake is made from crushed Oreos. I have to say how surprised I was by how authentic it looked and felt, and it has exactly the same texture as dry dirt.
I made a brownie base as opposed to a cake mainly because I find brownies so much easier to make (they don’t need to rise the same way as sponges do).
They are also a firmer texture (mine aren’t always – I sometimes like them gooey) and I needed the base to be fairly solid considering that I was going to top it with a ton of chocolate cream and then a shed load of crushed Oreos.
That said, you could use any cake as it is the Oreo crumbs that make it a dirt cake, when all’s said and done.
The topping is super simple to make – just melt some chocolate and add to whipped cream. As well as covering the whole cake with “dirt”, I also added a little grass and a few decorations, although these are entirely optional.
It’s a massive cake and will easily feed 10-12 people.
Flowers, grass and worms (or anything else you fancy)
~ Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a fairly large square or rectangle spring-form baking pan (mine was 27cm x 17cm / 10in x 7in).
~ Slowly heat the chocolate and butter in a pan until just melted, then add the coffee. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then add the milk and stir to combine.
~ In a large bowl, whisk the sugars with the eggs, then add in the cooled chocolate mixture.
~ Sift the vanilla sugar, flour and cocoa together, then stir into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
~ Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around 20-25 minutes (until an inserted skewer comes out clean). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (leave the cake in the pan).
~ For the topping: melt the chocolate and leave it to completely cool. In the meantime, whisk the cream until it is thick and stiff peaks form. Add around 1/3 of the cream to the chocolate and mix until well combined, then pour the cream/chocolate mixture into the remaining cream and mix until it is evenly distributed.
~ Pour over the cooled brownie and then refrigerate overnight (it doesn't have to be overnight - a few hours should be enough for the cream to set a little - but I find it gives the brownie a nice, neat slice when it has been refrigerated). Please note that the chocolate whipped cream does not go rock hard and keeps a consistency similar to mousse.
~ Crush the Oreos in a food processor until you are left with fine crumbs. Just before serving, sprinkle them over the cake and decorate with whatever else you fancy (the grass was created by cutting up bits of green shoe-lace candy). Cut into chunks and enjoy! Any leftovers, keep in an airtight container and store in the fridge.