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Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

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“This cake is my favorite way to eat chocolate.  It is easy to make and contains only three essential ingredients: the very best chocolate, for a full, rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture; unsalted butter to soften the chocolate and release the flavor; and eggs to lighten it.  The result is like the creamiest truffle wedded to the purest chocolate mousse.  It is chocolate at its most intense flavor and perfect consistency.” -Rose Levy Beranbaum, creator of the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

That pretty much says it all!  I would like to add that although it seems there are many steps to the recipe, it is very simple to make.  Think of it this way: all you have to do is melt the butter and chocolate together, beat the eggs to death and fold them into the chocolate mixture and bake.  The reason the instructions are so long is that they are very detailed so you are sure to have success with this cake.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. semisweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8″x2″ cake pan and place a circle of parchment or wax paper in the bottom, then butter the top of it.

In a large metal bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering, water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), combine the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally until smooth and melted. (The mixture can be melted in the microwave on high power, stirring every 15 seconds. Remove when there are still a few lumps of chocolate and stir until fully melted.)

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until tripled in volume and soft peaks form when the beater is raised, about 5 minutes.

Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remaining. Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth with the spatula. Set the pan in a larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake 5 minutes. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and bake 10 minutes. The cake will look soft, but this is as it should be.

Let the cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about three hours.

To unmold, have ready a serving plate and a flat plate at least 8 inches in diameter, covered with plastic wrap. Wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel, then run a thin metal knife around the sides of the cake. Submerge the bottom in hot water for 10-20 seconds, then invert onto the plastic wrap-lined plate. Remove the parchment from the bottom, then invert onto the serving plate and peel off the plastic wrap.

If desired, you can spread good-quality raspberry or strawberry jam over the top of the cake.  (I have an excellent recipe for raspberry jam here.)  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.  Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe source: The Cake Bible

***Reminder***

Today is the day to return to the Postcard Project spreadsheet and make sure you report how many pieces of mail you sent this week.  I will be drawing only from the names that have a number in the “completed” column for this week (not last week).  I’m SO thrilled that so many more have signed up and hope you will be able to return to report your goal completed before I draw for the cookies tonight at midnight. Good luck and thank you!

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THE Mocha Crunch Cake


Although I have made this recipe my own, I must give credit where it is due.  Early in my cake-making days, I purchased Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible and used recipes out of it to make the first stages of this cake.  I’ve continually changed and evolved the recipe since then, and while I always ultimately preferred to use a Betty Crocker devil’s food cake mix rather than bake the cake from scratch, I have now found THE chocolate cake recipe that I actually prefer over the mix, and I have Mel of My Kitchen Cafe to thank for that.

Let’s talk about the current stage of this cake.  The cake itself is light, moist, deeply chocolatey.  An excellent crumb.  Really, the best texture I’ve ever gotten from a chocolate cake recipe, except for this one.  It’s perfect.  The cake is enveloped in a  buttercream that is deceptively light and almost mousse-like with a great balance of sweet coffee and chocolate flavor.  The flavor combined with the velvety smooth texture makes it so good that I have been known to scoop the leftover frosting into a bowl and eat it straight.  I chose to press chopped toffee into the sides of the cake because, to me, the flavor of toffee has always been a perfect compliment to chocolate and coffee, and it adds a nice contrast of texture to the bite.  Finally, I eventually began smothering the whole finished cake in ganache to make it more visually appealing and to intensify the chocolate flavor.  It is an immensely pleasurable treat that can be dangerous because it doesn’t feel fattening when it’s in your mouth and it’s easy to overindulge because it is so light.  Do not be decieved!  My thighs are a testament to the immense caloric level of each bite.

This cake is time consuming to prepare, but very much worth the effort, especially if you are making it for a birthday.  And fear not that the little ones won’t enjoy it.  My nephew has been devouring it since he was old enough to be allowed chocolate.  And one of the ladies present at a birthday party where it was served told me that her daughter hates chocolate and she ate an enormous piece all by herself.  I had to laugh, because that little girl is not the only one who has enjoyed the cake despite their aversions to aspects of it.

My Dad is a dessert hater.  Honestly, I don’t know how he could have spawned me, the Dessert Queen, but it doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t have a sweet tooth.  But he loves this cake.  My youngest sister is a frosting hater.  She scrapes it off the cake.  When I make this one she gets excited if I put extra frosting in the middle.  And she licks the plate clean, frosting and all.  My middle sister is a cake hater, and really just a hater of all things not raw and rich in antioxidants.  But she scarfs this cake every time I make it and it is the only cake she will let me make for her birthday.  My husband?  A coffee hater.  An intense coffee hater.  And yet he perks up on the rare occasion I make a morning cup of Joe, hoping the smell means I’m making this cake.  My Mom likes everything I make, but this is her favorite cake and also the one she prefers on her birthday.  And not to toot my own horn or anything, but Michael Jackson left instructions in his will to be buried with three of these cakes.  Or at least, I think he would have if he’d ever tried one. :)

A friend recently told me that this cake would be one of the only things she thought she would miss in heaven.  Of course she said it to be funny since I doubt we’ll miss anything in heaven, but if were possible to miss something…I think I would miss it too.

THE Mocha Crunch Cake

Printable recipe

Printable recipe with picture

Cake
1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Mocha Buttercream

¼ cup Kahlua
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
10 oz semisweet chocolate
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup corn syrup

1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter

Ganache
4 oz semisweet chocolate
½ cup heavy cream

Additional

1-1  ½ cups toffee bits
2 toffee candy bars (such as Heath)

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, making sure the baking rack is in the middle of the oven. Prepare two 9” round cake pans by cutting out a piece of parchment or wax paper to line the bottom of them. Grease the pans, place the parchment or wax paper in the bottoms and lightly grease again. Dust the pans with flour (or cocoa powder if you don’t want the white dusting on the finished cakes). Set the pans aside.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, yolk, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Do not overbake! Remove the pans from the oven and set the pans on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a thin knife around the edges of the pans and unmold the cakes, removing the parchment paper liners from the bottom of the cakes. Let them cool completely, top sides ups, on a wire rack.  Trim the tops of the cake layers with a long serrated knife to make them level.

Make the buttercream: Put Kahlua in a microwave safe dish and heat until boiling.  Remove and add instant coffee.  Mixture will immediately boil up high and once it goes back down, gently stir it until the coffee is dissolved.  Set aside to come to room temperature.  Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 30 seconds and stir.  Continue heating in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is almost melted.  Stir and allow the residual heat to melt it completely.  Set aside and allow to come to room temperature.

Beat the egg yolks until light and mixer blades make tracks in them.  Spray a 1-cup glass measure with cooking spray and set beside the stove.  Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a full rolling boil.  Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared measuring cup to stop the cooking.  While mixer is running, pour the syrup in a steady stream into the egg yolks, careful not to pour it onto the beaters.  Continue beating until mixture is room temperature.  Beat the butter in a small bowl until fluffy, then begin adding it to the egg mixture a tablespoon or two at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.  Once the chocolate is cooled, turn the mixer back on and add the chocolate to the buttercream, beating until smooth.  Add the cooled Kahlua mixture and beat until uniform & smooth.

Make the ganache: Place the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe dish and heat for a minute; stir.  Continue heating in 15-30 second intervals until the chocolate emulsifies and the mixture is shiny, dark, uniform, and smooth.  Allow to come to room temperature.

Assemble: Place one cake layer on plate and spread about 1 cup of mocha buttercream over the top.  Put second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream.  Take handfuls of toffee bits and press them into the sides of the cake.  Chop the candy bars into four pieces each and place with a pointed side up around the edge of the cake.  Slowly pour the cooled ganache over the top of the cake and use a spatula to spread to the edges so that it will ooze out between the candy bars and down the sides a little.  Sprinkle some toffee bits in the middle of the cake.  Serve at room temperature.

Veronica’s notes: As many people have had trouble with the cake batter overflowing the pans during baking, I recommend you do what I did and only fill your pans 1/2-2/3 full and use the extra batter for cupcakes.

Recipe by Veronica Miller, with help from this recipe, and The Cake Bible.

And now, a photographic timeline to show the evolution of the Mocha Crunch Cake.

1st stage: three layers of (from scratch) devil’s food cake with mocha frosting and chocolate curls.

https://i1.wp.com/a4.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/95/f9cd0f2d1d22fe34c95e7de7b9c8609b/l.jpg

Stage 2: same as stage 1, except with toffee on the sides.

https://i0.wp.com/a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/38/ac907196cb9ff40fb9a696bab3be4fca/l.jpg

Stage 3: using a cake mix and with much shorter layers to make the frosting to cake ratio more equal, as my sister likes it.  Mom wasn’t complaining! (On a side note, this is before I learned how to pipe roses and I was holding the tip upside down so the petals are backwards, which makes them look too fluffy–LOL!)

https://i2.wp.com/a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/42/7494dfe1bcacea15227f7e59dd603eb1/l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/8/32c4e9c0f2c65d00f1bc4cc169013511/l.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/a3.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/54/3394fe553e4f8a1b0c76b7d1c1efaec8/l.jpg

Stage 4: toffee removed and baked in a sheet pan to turn into a baby shower cake.

https://i1.wp.com/a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/112/aa921b50709e40e7a982e13f6bf80c84/l.jpg

Stage 5: a ganache drizzle is added.

https://i1.wp.com/a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/10/96fffba6177c4c18b674f57653b3be75/l.jpg

Stage 6: no more pussyfooting around.  I slathered on a whole cup of ganache and embellished with candy bars!

And everyone rejoiced.  The end.

Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cake

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I had today off and finally had the time to make a cake for the December babies in my family–Dennis, Danielle and Lacey.  Yes, I’m horrible.  Yes, I’m the worst wife and sister on the planet.  Yes, I only made one cake for all three birthdays.  And I didn’t even bother decorating it.  But there were NO complaints, let me tell you.  I do not have the vocabulary to express just how awesome the flavor of the buttercream is.  If you like cherry cordials, you’ll love this cake.

I know not many will appreciate this blog since it’s New Year’s Day and you most likely wrote “LOSE WEIGHT” at the top of your resolutions (again), but save the recipe for Valentine’s Day–by then you’ll have lost enough weight to afford a slice and your sweetheart will be clamoring for cake since you banned it from the house for the last two months.

Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cake

1 Devil’s Food Cake, prepared according to package directions
1 recipe Cherry Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
Marashino/Candied/Fresh cherries
Sliced almonds (optional)
Dark chocolate chips (optional)

Frost the cake with the buttercream and embellish with the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips or whatever else you want to use.

Cherry Chocolate Buttercream

3 sticks butter, room temperature, soft
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cherry extract
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. milk
1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
1 ½ oz. melted semisweet chocolate

Beat butter; Add sugar and mix until moistened. Add salt, extract, milk, and chocolates. Beat until fluffy and desired consistency, several minutes.  Makes enough to fill and frost two 8 or 9 inch layers, plus more for decorating.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

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It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, or any blog for that matter, and since my December schedule (aka 72 hours/wk all month) starts tomorrow, I figured I’d better post one before I have even less time than I already do.

So Den graduated composite class at WATC Wednesday and I decided to send him to school with a cake to celebrate.  This also happened to coincide with a ridiculous sale Dillons was having on raspberries–$1 per pint–so I decided I would have to incorporate them into the cake and came up with this dark chocolate-raspberry confection.

To make it, just use the raspberry buttercream on a devil’s food cake or dark chocolate cake (I included my favorite if you don’t have one of your own), press sliced almonds into the sides and accent with fresh raspberries (dipped in ganache if you want) and ganache drizzle.  The frosting is light and fluffy and perfectly compliments the chocolate cake.  It is my favorite cake of any I have ever made but I know individual tastes vary.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cake:
1 dark chocolate fudge cake mix
2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark works)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup sour cream
1 cup water
3 eggs

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 lbs powdered sugar
¼ cup seedless raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon raspberry extract

Ganache:
½  cup heavy cream
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Garnish:
Sliced almonds
Fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (or use miracle pan release) two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans with 2″ high sides.

Beat cake ingredients on low until moistened, then on medium speed for two minutes, scraping sides of bowl. Pour into the prepared pans, filling 1/2-2/3 full.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in tins for 5 minutes, then remove onto cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Cream the butter and cream cheese, then beat in the remaining ingredients. Once the cakes are completely cool to the touch, trim the dome off the tops if necessary, then place the first layer top-side up on a cake plate and spread 1/3 of the frosting over it. Place the second top-side down on top and then spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Scoop sliced almonds into your palm and press into the sides of the cake, repeating until covered.

Prepare the ganache: combine the cream and chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for one minute at 50% power, then stir until it is shiny and smooth (this may take a while but you should not need to heat it any further unless your microwave operates at less than 1000 watts).  Alternatively, you can place the cream and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat and stir until melted, shiny & smooth.  While it is still liquid, dip the raspberries half way, if you wish, and set them on wax paper to set.  Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature, I think it only took a few minutes b/c it won’t be very hot to begin with, then drizzle over cake with a pastry bag or a spoon or fork. Place raspberries on top and around the bottom edge.  Serve at room temperature.

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