Chocolate Volcanic Cake

In a trip report last week, I wrote about a certain recipe for something called “Mt Doom — a Chocolate Volcanic Cake“. It’s based around staple ingredients such as 1 cup of drinking chocolate, a whole cup of chocolate chips, half a cup of strawberry jam, an unspecified amount of greek yoghurt (to counter the jam, I think), a little chilli powder to taste, one entire litre of “gooey raspberry ripple ice-cream”, and 3 token cups of couscous just to make the entire thing healthy. This recipe was published on page 18 of FMC Bulletin 178 (from November 2009), and its submitter claims it will serve “12 hungry trampers”. Reading the recipe over and over whilst lying in a tent, stuck behind a swollen river for 2 extra nights on a food budget, it’s unclear just how 12 people will be satisfied. It was in such circumstances that I decided I’d make the whole thing when I got back, and I’d appreciate it.

Time goes on and appetites change. Two or three small town pub meals later, I’d lost my appetite for this gooey chocolate, strawberry and raspberry wonder-cake, or at the very least eating the entire thing. I still wanted to see how it’d come out, however, and eventually decided to divide all ingredients by three.

It’s a simple recipe. The couscous gets mixed with twice as much water, the drinking chocolate, chilli powder and eventually the chocolate chips, creating chocolate-flavoured couscous. Once it’s cooled, the idea is drop the ice-cream into a (large) bowl, then tip the couscous mixture over the top. After this, the jam and yoghurt gets smothered over the top to make it look more volcano-like. (I refused to buy the raspberry swirl ice-cream because it was far too expensive, so bought some kind of triple chocolate ice cream instead.)

After a first effort, this was the result.


Several amateur insights occur following this cooking expedition:

  • My first effort didn’t look very volcanic.
  • Despite having imagined I could gulp the entire thing in the space of a few minutes when I first saw the recipe, it may not have been very healthy, or easy, to do so. Having made only a third of the original recipe, Stacey and I tried to get through it for dessert but we only managed half of it.
  • The recipe looks like dessert, but the amount of couscous suggests it could almost be a main meal, though devoid of things like vegetables. It felt too filling for dessert, though.
  • It’s very sweeeeeeet.
  • In hindsight I don’t think I let the couscous mixture cool down enough before pouring spooning it over the ice-cream. The whole thing went quite mushy when it mixed with the ice-cream.
  • I’m not clear on how this is a regular tramping recipe, mostly because of the ice cream. I suppose if you’re not going far, and able to make it before the ice cream’s melted you’d be fine. Or perhaps you could carry a portable petrol generator and use it to power one of those mini-bar freezers which could be being carried by a co-tramper. It’d be awkward though, as you’d have to keep the power cord between two people from snagging on everything.
  • I had trouble pouring the jam over the mountain as the recipe instructed. My lava wanted to stick together in clumps, so I had to come down on it with a big crunching spoon and smear it over the sides. Do I need to buy a certain kind of jam, or treat it somehow?

Well, at least now I’ve done it. It was nice but it’s a shame I can’t transport it back in time and space by a couple of weeks and 250 kilometres west.

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