Have you guys tried the Chocolate Truffle Cake from Cedele? Not their Pistachio Truffle or their Chocolate Banana- although those are delicious in their own right- I’m talking about their plain truffle cake. It is a decadent slice of pure chocolate bliss, on a bed of crushed graham cookies and topped with a heavy dusting of cocoa. The concept of the cake is simple and I have been trying to recreate it for some time. But most of the recipes I see for chocolate truffle cake are too dense. I don’t know if I can explain it in words, the amazing texture of the Truffle cake from Cedele. It is fluffy, light almost, but at the same time, so intensely chocolate-y. There is nothing that detracts from that hit of cacoa flavor, save for the thin graham crust, which compliments the smooth chocolate with a bit of crumbly crunch, a textural contrast made in heaven. My quest was to replicate this experience but first, I needed a truffle recipe that promised lightness in texture, but an strong chocolate flavor as well.
I chanced upon Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Chocolate Oblivion recipe on many websites and food blogs and it seemed to be just the thing I was looking for. And with my spanking new Kitchen Aid mixer, aka Miss Purple Sunshine, raring for a go, I thought, why not?
With only four of the most basic baking ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar, you really want to get the best stuff you can afford. For me, I used French butter and of course, chocolate of the same nationality 🙂 I recently bought Varlhona Equatoriale which has a lower cacao percentage (55%). I decided I’d use that for ganaches and other recipes that call for no or very little sugar so that the chocolate is not too bitter. There are many people out there who don’t appreciate the bitter taste of premium dark chocolate, myself included. I see the value of the superbly balanced Guanaja 70% and I can detect the delicate floral, fruity notes of Manjari 63%, but when it boils down to truly enjoying chocolate in all its perverse and decadent glory, I need something sweeter, creamier and preferrably more milky than dark. So when I noticed that Beranbaum’s original recipe called for no sugar (or very little, if you decide to add it at all), I decided to use Equatoriale not only because it is a great chocolate, but it also isn’t too bitter.
A good decision if you ask me, because the truffle came out full of dark chocolate-y richness and taste, but was not too bitter. I made a base of crushed digestive biscuits and brown sugar (held together by melted butter) and slathered slighty sweetened whipped cream all over the top and sides of the torte and dusted everything with a layer of cocoa.
Okay, I don’t want to brag but honestly, I think this was soooo good!! It was like I had a chance to play God and modify Cedele’s already amazing creation to come up with a MY uber-perfect truffle cake. An extra-thick buttery base layer, a truffle filling made with premium chocolate and lots and lots of whipped cream (which is the one thing I think Cedele’s version lacks). I so love knowing that I can eat something at a cafe, like it, come home, decide to replicate it, but kick everything up a knotch and end up with something as crazily delicious as this.
Digestive Biscuit Base (double recipe for 8″ tin)
50g butter, melted
100g Digestive biscuits
1 tbsp brown sugar
1. Grease bottom and sides of a 6″ round tin with butter. Line bottom of tin with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil. Butter paper/foil.
2. Break up biscuits into a food processor and pulse with sugar until fine and crumbly. Stir in melted butter and press into base of tin. Chill for 20-30 mins.
Chocolate Oblivion Truffle (double recipe for 8″ tin)
(adapted from Rose Levy Barembaum’s recipe)
8oz/227g Varlhona Equatoriale, chopped coarsely
4oz/ 113.5g unsalted butter
3 eggs (150g without shell)
a tiny pinch of good salt (I used fleur de sel)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
2. Melt butter in a large bowl over a double boiler until halfway melted. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and keep aside.
2. Whisk together eggs and sugar in another large bowl. Heat egg and sugar mixture over the double boiler until warm to touch. Careful that you don’t end up cooking the eggs, 4-5 mins over med-low heat should be enough to warm the mixture.
3. Remove from heat and add a tiny pinch of salt. Beat with electric beaters or whisk attachment until the mixture triples in volume and holds soft peaks. I used my KA for this step and it took sightly less than 5 mins on speed 6. (By the way, the new KA is amazing. She does all the work quickly, and frees up my hands so I can do other stuff. Love her!)
4. Fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture until it is almost incorporated. It is important that you fold the EGGS into the chocolate and not the other way because this keeps the torte light.
5. Fold the remaining half of the eggs into the chocolate-egg mixture until it is just blended and no streaks remain.
6. Remove cake tin from fridge and wrap the outside with heavy-duty aluminium foil (or a double layer of normal foil). Pour batter into tin and place in a water bath i.e. a larger tray filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cake tin.
7. Bake 5 mins. Then cover the top of the cake loosely with a large piece of foil and bake another 7 mins (12 mins for an 8″ cake). The cake will look barely done but it’s supposed to be that way.
8. Remove cake from oven and from the water bath and leave to cool for 45mins, in tin, on a wire rack. Wrap tin in plastic wrap or foil and chill at least 4 hours.
9. To remove cake from tin, run a sharp tin along sides and overturn cake onto plate/cake board. Peel off greaseproof paper and foil and turn over again onto serving plate/board.
10. The cake can be served just as it is now, maybe with a light dusting of cocoa. If desired, you can also whip up some cream with a bit of icing sugar and frost torte. Dust with cocoa.
*tip: try to get the cake out of the fridge about 1/2 hour before you intend to serve it. It is when the torte filling is slightly soft that you can fully experience the fudgy, mousse-like texture of the truffle. What I do is slice into the cake whilst it is still cold to get neat cuts. Then I resist all temptation and just leave the slice out at room temperature. After about 15mins, I’m rewarded for my patience with a truly out-of-this-world slice of truffle torte, perfectly softened!