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By Chef Sherry Gaynor
Photos by Tammy Harrow
Twenty years ago, I made my brother-in-law’s groom’s cake from this recipe, and for 20 years, each time I visit, the cake is requested. It’s a crowd-pleaser and appeases even our gluten-free friends. It scales up and down very well and molds beautifully into any shape. The loaf is elegant, but small individual molds (3 – 4 inch) are also classy, served as individual plated desserts. For an added hint of flavor, try substituting liqueurs, such as Frangelico, Framboise, Amaretto, or Sambuca for part of the water or cream measures. Ganache is sufficient and flavorful, making the mirror glaze optional.
Truffle cake is best served without the cold edge, so let portions stand before serving to enhance creaminess and flavor and be sure to cut portions small using warm knife, as it is as delicate as it is decadent. Good ‘ol American faithful, vanilla ice cream, is great as a side, or a drizzle of kumquat syrup, which can be a nice, seasonal pairing.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 12-16)
- 6 OUNCES DARK BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED OR CHIPS
- 7 OUNCES SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED OR CHIPS
- 5 FLUID OUNCES WATER
- 6 OUNCES GRANULATED SUGAR
- 9 OUNCES UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO 1-INCH PIECES
- 6 EGGS
- 1 TEASPOON PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
- 3 OUNCES GRANULATED SUGAR
- 4 OUNCES BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED OR CHIPS
- 4 OUNCES SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE, CHOPPED OR CHIPS
- 8 OUNCES HEAVY CREAM
- 1 ENVELOPE (1/4 OUNCE) POWDERED GELATIN (OR 1 GELATIN SHEET)
- 2 FLUID OUNCES WATER
- 4 OUNCES CHOCOLATE (WHITE IF COLORED GLAZE OR DARK IF CHOCOLATE)
- 3 1/2 TABLESPOONS (3 TABLESPOON + 1 1/2 TEASPOON) WATER
- 3 1/2 OUNCES GRANULATED SUGAR
- 2 FLUID OUNCES SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
- 1/2 TEASPOON VANILLA (CLEAR IF WHITE OR COLORED GLAZE)
- 1 3/4 OUNCES SIFTED COCOA (IF MAKING DARK CHOCOLATE GLAZE)
- CHOCOLATE CUTOUTS
- 4 OUNCES DARK CHOCOLATE
- PARCHMENT PAPER OR ACETATE TRANSFER SHEET
- GOLD LUSTER DUST
- GOLD LEAF
- SUGARED ROSE PETALS
- 1 ROSE
- 1 EGG WHITE
- 1/2 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR
Prepare pan by spraying inside, add a parchment liner, and spray liner.
Select a larger pan to bake cake in a water bath.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Heat water and first sugar measure in 2-quart (non-reactive) saucepan.
- Combine whole eggs, vanilla, and second sugar measure in medium sized bowl with whip, mix until uniform.
- When water and sugar boil, remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, mix with whip until completely smooth and no lumps appear.
- Slowly add chocolate mixture into egg mixture, mixing constantly, until smooth.
- Fill cake pan and bake in water bath, 10 minutes at 350°F, then drop temperature to 300°F and bake until cake is set, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Cool at room temperature, or in oven for 1 hour.
- Cover and cool in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.
- Select cake board and warm water in saucepan to loosen cake.
- Place cake pan over hot water and allow steam to loosen sides and bottom of cake. A torch works also, if available.
- Place cake board on top of cake and turn cake over, tapping sides to remove cake from pan.
- Set up glazing station using either a smaller cake pan, bowl, or glazing rack over clean pan.
- Prepare ganache by heating heavy cream in 1-2 quart (non-reactive) saucepan.
- Immediately remove cream from heat when it begins to boil.
- Add chocolate using whip and mix until completely smooth and no lumps appear.
- Pour ganache over cake and glaze evenly.
- Place glazed cake in freezer, freeze 4 hours, or overnight.
- Prepare mirror glaze(s) (if using). Start by blooming gelatin in first water measure (2 fl. oz.), reserve.
- Warm second water measure (3 1/2 tablespoon), sugar, and condensed milk. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat.
- Add vanilla and bloomed gelatin, mixing with whip to combine.
- Add cocoa and mix smooth.
- Strain glaze through fine strainer.
- Prepare glazing station while glaze cools to 81°F to 88°F.
- Pour glaze over frozen cake to evenly coat.
If using second glazing accents (non-swirled), allow first coat of glaze to set completely before adding second color. Put second color in paper piping bag or pastry bag with small straight tip and pipe design. If swirled effect is desired, add second color while wet and run spatula through for marbling effect.
If preparing chocolate cutouts, melt chocolate in microwave in 5-second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is only halfway melted. Continue stirring until completely melted, do not heat in microwave past the halfway point, or chocolate will bloom.
- Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate over parchment paper or acetate to even thickness. Allow to cool slightly, until almost set.
- Using a sharp paring knife, cut desired shapes and place over glass, rolling pin, or muffin tins to add shape. Allow to cool completely, then remove from paper.
- Using small paintbrush, add light coating of luster dust to chocolate.
- Using 2 paring knives, add tiny bits of edible gold sheet to chocolate and cake.
To make sugared rose petals, use organic, untreated rose, which are edible, or if only for decoration, any rose will do. Using small paintbrush, brush very light coating of egg white onto individual rose petals, both sides. Dredge in sugar until completely coated. Place onto clean dry surface and rest overnight or for several hours.