Rich Chocolate Truffle Cake
A superb centrepiece and showstopper for any party or celebration. This glossy cake will hold its own at the most glamorous of occasions. Amazingly, this rich, dark chocolatey cake can be frozen with all the decorations in place, so it makes a fantastic freezer standby.
For a more casual appearance, try topping with chocolate curls or drizzle with melted white chocolate instead. Psst... without the truffles, it also makes a delicious hot chocolate fudge cake, sliced into wedges and heated for a few seconds in the microwave until soft and gooey.
- 50g cocoa powder
- 6tbsp just-boiled water
- 225g softened butter cubed, plus extra for greasing
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 350ml double cream
- 400g plain dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces
- 12 chocolate truffles plain, white or milk
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Grease 20cm loose-based sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. Put the cocoa powder into a bowl and stir in the just-boiled water to make a smooth, fairly thick liquid.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa paste in a food processor and mix until thick and creamy. Do not allow to over blend or the cake will be heavy rather than light. If you don’t have a food processor, simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat hard with a wooden spoon until creamy and soft.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake on the same shelf in the centre of the oven for 23–25 minutes or until well risen and just beginning to shrink back from the sides of the tin.
Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cakes and turning out on to a wire rack. Peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool completely. When the cakes are completely cold, horizontally cut through each one very carefully with a serrated knife to make four thin sponges. (You don’t have to do this but it makes the cake that bit more special.)
To make the icing, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water until almost fully melted. Remove the bowl from the water using an oven cloth and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then gradually stir in the double cream until the mixture is soft and glossy.
Place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand, cut side up. Spread with roughly a fifth of the chocolate icing - just enough to cover the sponge. Use a paddling motion with a palette knife or rubber spatula for the best result, trying to prevent the sponge from lifting.
Cover with a second cake, cut side up. Spread with more chocolate icing and repeat the layers once more. Finish with the final cake, cut side down. By this stage you should have layered four cakes with chocolate icing between three of them. Spread the remaining icing all over the top and sides of the cake to cover the cake completely. Decorate with the chocolate truffles and leave to stand for 1 hour before serving. Serves 10-12
Open freeze the cake for up to 3 months on a small baking tray for 3 hours then wrap tightly in foil. Label and freeze in a rigid container.
Unwrap the cake as soon as it is taken from the freezer and place on a plate or cake stand. Leave to thaw for at room temperature for 3–4 hours before serving.