Chocolate truffle cake is one of our favourite hybrid desserts - taking the best of decadent chocolate truffles and turning it into a rich, fluffy and (extremely!) moreish cake - a chocoholics dream! This deliciously decadent dessert can be made the day before to make a special occasion stress-free and keep you out of the kitchen. You should make more chocolate truffles than you need to top your cake because they freeze well and are perfect to bring out at a later date if you need to make another cake or just share them with friends and family.
- For the cake
- 100g bar good-quality plain chocolate
- 6tbsp milk
- 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
- ½ level tsp baking powder
- 100g (3½ oz) ground almonds
- For the truffles and icing
- 284 ml pot double cream
- 150g (5oz) cooking Belgian milk chocolate
- 200g bar good-quality plain chocolate
- 1-1½ tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 x 20cm (8in) round cake tins, greased and base-lined with baking parchment
To make the chocolate cake: Set the oven to moderate, gas mark 4 or 180°C. Break the chocolate into pieces, put a bowl and pour over the milk. Place the bowl over
a pan of simmering water and leave it until chocolate melts (or melt it in the microwave).
Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Stir in the eggs, then fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds. Add half the mixture to the melted chocolate, and mix in well. Add 2tbsp of water to the plain mixture left in the bowl. Place alternate spoonfuls of both mixtures in the cake tins. Use a skewer to swirl the mixtures gently together.
Bake for 25-30 mins or until just firm to the touch. Remove from the tins after 5 mins and leave cakes to cool on a wire rack.
To make the truffle mixture: Heat 5tbsp of the cream in a small, heavy pan until it starts to bubble round the edges. Do not overheat it. Add the milk chocolate in pieces and stir until smooth. Spoon into a small bowl and chill until firm – about 1 hr or overnight, will be fine.
To make the icing: Grate about 2tbsp of plain chocolate from the bar, using a swivel-headed vegetable peeler and set aside for the decoration. Heat the rest of the cream in a small pan until it bubbles round the edge, then stir in the remaining plain chocolate in pieces, until melted and smooth. It will be runny and glossy. Leave until it is thick enough to hold its shape (30 mins-1 hr). Don’t worry if it looks as though it will separate; just stir it occasionally and, when it starts to go more matte in appearance and thicken, it is ready to use. Meanwhile, make the truffles.
To mould the truffles: Divide the mixture into 16 (about 2 level tsp mixture per portion). Sift some cocoa powder on to a plate and mould each portion of chocolate mixture into egg shapes, then roll them in the cocoa powder to coat well.
To assemble the cake: Place one cake on the serving plate and spread with about a third of the chocolate icing. Place other cake on top. Spoon rest of icing on and spread it over top and sides, swirling icing with a palette knife. Arrange truffles on top of cake. Scatter the grated chocolate over and around the truffle eggs. Keep in a cool place, but not the fridge. It will be fine overnight. Cover with a large mixing bowl.
How to freeze: Pack in polybags, seal, label and freeze. Use within 3 months. Thaw, unwrapped, for a few hours, then finish with chocolate cream.
Top tip for making Chocolate truffle cake
If you don't want to make truffles, decorate the cake with mini eggs. And if you don't use ground almonds, add an extra 100g (3½ oz) self-raising flour