This is inspired from one of Martha’s wedding cakes. I’m not sure what her recipe is, but I just love the concept of it — it’s a cake encased in truffles! That has got to be good! Now this is for that birthday party that I was talking about a while ago; it went with the raspberry cupcakes. And since I made extra raspberry buttercream for the cupcakes, I used that to fill the cake. So because it was for a party, I couldn’t cut it open to take a picture of a cross-section. You could just use more ganache for a filling, or whatever buttercream you like. Maybe a nice orange curd would be good. Might be a good Halloween cake with the colors.
Like I mentioned before, this party was supposed to be pink and purple. So I rolled some of the truffles in some purple dragées to keep in the theme. This made 2 tall 6″ cakes. I split the cakes in half so there’s four layers to it. They did rise in the middle, but they settled after cooling. Be aware that this is one of my more involved cakes. Not that it’s difficult; it just has a lot of steps. Here’s what you need:
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 2/3 c. Dutch process cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 1/2 c. warm water
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 6 inch cake pans with cooking spray. Line with parchment rounds; spray the rounds as well. Sift together the dry ingredients twice (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Set aside. Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter for about 1 – 2 minutes. Gradually adding the sugar, mix for about 3 – 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and mix for another minute.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition (scrape down the sides, too!). Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
4. On low, gradually add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the water. Scrape the sides and mix evenly.
5. Pour half the mixture into each pan. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 15 minutes before turning them out onto cooling racks.
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 2 sticks of butter
- 2 c. confectioners sugar
- 2 t. vanilla
1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a double boiler. You could just put it in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time since tempering the chocolate is not as important. After completely melted, set aside.
2. In another bowl, beat the butter until creamy for about a minute or so. Gradually add in the sugar, mixing well to combine. Beat in the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Mix until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
For the truffles:
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 lb. dark chocolate, chopped
- cocoa powder
- dutch process cocoa powder
- purple dragée
1. Place chocolate in medium-sized heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Once the cream starts to boil, pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit for about 5-7 minutes and stir to combine. Cool in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes, until set.
2. Using a small ice cream scoop, form balls around 1 1/2 in. wide. Roll the truffles in either of the cocoa powders or the dragée. Place in the refrigerator to harden for about 10 minutes. Cut each truffle in half, and place back in the refrigerator until needed.
Assemble the cake:
1. After cooling, cut out a small notch or sliver out of the sides of the cakes to act as a marker. That way you can match up the marks when assembling the cake. Split the cakes in half lengthwise so that you will have four even layers.
2. Place a small dab of frosting on top of a cake round (or a serving dish) and place the bottom layer of one of the cakes. Line the edges of the round with strips of parchment that are tucked underneath the edges of the cake.
3. Spread about 1/2 c. of the frosting on the bottom layer and smooth out almost to the edge. Top with the top layer of that cake, lining up the notches on the side. Smooth out another 1/2 c. of the frosting on top. Repeat with the other two layers.
4. Frost the sides of the cake starting with the top and bringing the frosting down to smooth out the sides. Smooth out the top.
5. With a small palette knife or the back of a small spoon, place a dab of frosting on the back of a truffle half and attach it to the cake. Repeat until the sides of the cake are covered in truffles. You could try to make a fancy pattern here, but I just stuck with columns of the different truffles in random order.
Notes — As I mentioned earlier, the filling for the cake that I made was a raspberry buttercream, so if you just use the ganache frosting, you’ll probably need a double batch, depending on how much you use in between the layers. . . you could just make things easier on your self and use store-bought truffles, or maybe some Baci chocolates. . . I did (begrudgingly) eventually put some purple sugar flowers on top of the cake since those were part of the party theme. I prefer to just have a smooth top of the cake. . . although I prefer the more irregular shapes of truffles, you could make perfectly round truffles for this. That might be appropriate for a more formal event. But they are called truffles because, after you roll them around in the cocoa, they look like those things that you pull out of the ground!