Using chocolate truffles to garnish a cake may not be what you would normally do to decorate a cake. But WHY NOT! It’s holiday. All that matters is fun and tasty and pretty. And go along your heart.
Let’s talk about the simplicity of these chocolate truffles. The base is heavy cream and dark chocolate. You can literally add any other flavours – rum, Kahlua, whiskey, Baileys, nuts, dried fruits. ANYTHING!
Ingredients (8-inch 3-layer cake):
Dark Chocolate Truffles
3/4 heavy cream
350 grams dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Chocolate Devil’s Food Layer Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Bean Latte Frosting
5 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 tablespoons strong espresso, cooled
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
To prepare dark chocolate truffles, heat the heavy cream in a small spot over medium heat until it simmers.
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. When the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate. Add the vanilla and Kahlua. Let the cream melt the chocolate for 5 minutes and then stir until silky smooth.
Cool the chocolate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. After the chocolate has cooled, roll the chocolate into small balls. If the chocolate is too cold, let it sit on the counter until you can roll it into small balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When all of the chocolate truffles are rolled into balls, put them back in the fridge to chill for another 2 hours.
Roll the truffles over cocoa powder. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper for the cake layers.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the cakes (in the pans) on a wire rack to cool. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the buttercream, put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use an electric hand mixer to beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.
With whisk attachment, continue whipping the mixture in a standing mixer until thick, glossy, and cool.
Switch over to paddle attachment. While mixing on medium speed, continuously add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth.
Add vanilla bean, espresso, cinnamon and salt, mix well.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 cup of the buttercream. Repeat this process until all cake layers are placed. Smear buttercream on top and sides of the cake. Top the cake with chocolate truffles.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.