Friday, February 8, 2008

February's Recipe - Chocolate Truffle Cake

February is our (Michelle and I) mom's birthday. She's turning the big 6-0. So in celebration of the big birthday we planned a surprise brunch in her honor. All was going according to plan, until we found out that she had planned a vacation leaving the day before her party. So to make a long story short we ended up having to tell her about it and she switched her plans to the week before. Since we didn't have a cake for her at the brunch, we decided to make her a cake. Michelle has a library of cookbooks and shown her a dessert book she has called Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts.... I guess you can say the passion for chocolate runs in the family, because Mom picked a Chocolate Truffle Cake.

Chocolate Truffle Cake

2 8oz packages unsweetened-chocolate squares (16 1 oz squares)
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons margarine or butter (2 ¾ sticks), at room temperature
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup heavy or whipping cream
10 1oz squares semi-sweet chocolate

1) Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 325f
2) In heavy 4-quart saucepan over low heat, heat 12 squares unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup margarine or butter (2 sticks), and 2 ½ cups water, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
3) In large bowl, with wire whisk or fork, beat eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in warm chocolate mixture.
4) To chocolate mixture, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; continue beating with wire whisk or fork until batter is smooth and well blended.
5) Pour batter into cake pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool cakes completely on wire racks.
6) Meanwhile, prepare truffle mixture: In heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, heat remaining 4 squares unsweetened chocolate, stirring frequently, until melted; cool slightly. With spoon, stir in confectioners’ sugar, remaining 6 tablespoons margarine/butter (3/4 stick) and ¼ cup heavy or whipping cream until mixture is smooth and blended.
7) Prepare glaze: In heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, heat 8 squares semisweet chocolate and remaining ½ cup heavy/whipping cream, stirring frequently until melted, smooth, and slightly thickened; keep warm.
8) Assemble and glaze cake (1/2 cup of the truffle mixture between each layer)

Ok so the cake didn't turn out the way it's shown in the book, but it really tasted yummy. The ganache was suppose to cover the entire cake, but I made the mistake of not leveling the layers before assembling the cake (I know all the cake makers are like that's cake 101, well I've learned my lesson). Because of that little mistake the top layer kind of cracked and I was afraid to spread the ganache in fear of the cake would fall apart. So, I just piped the extra filling in between the layers. It actually didn't turn out that bad. Then I realized that this was a birthday cake so I took some melted chocolate and wrote happy birthday on the top. My Mom was very happy and everyone enjoyed the cake. I am definatley making this cake again, but might make it in two layers instead of three.

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