Saturday, October 09, 2004

Chocolate Heaven Truffle Cake 

From Sunni's recipe site.

as usual, I tinker, and I made only one real change - the addition of a pinch of salt. my comments are in blue.

This cake is a bit complicated to make, but the results are worth it!

All ingredients at room temperature:

16 oz. best quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bars, 60% cocoa)
1 C. unsalted butter (cut into tbs squares for easier melting)
6 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 C. sugar (optional) (I used 1/2 c)
1 t. vanilla or up to 2T. flavored liqueur of your choice (optional) (I used Grand Marnier)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Butter a 9" springform pan (or cake pan with removable side). Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter paper. Coat bottom and side of pan generously with superfine sugar.

Oops...I forgot to buy more parchment paper. And it was 11pm. Crap! My springform pan is non-stick. So I just buttered the pan, sprinkled on some sugar, and kept my fingers cross. The next morning, after warming the sides and running a knive around the edge, no major sticking to report. Whew!

Wrap outside of pan well with a double layer of aluminum foil. You'll also need a roasting pan that the cake pan can fit into.
In double boiler or (carefully!) in microwave, combine chocolate and butter and melt. Stir to blend; if using vanilla or liqueur, stir into chocolate mix and set aside. (I recommend using vanilla unless you're using a liqueur, because it enhances the chocolate flavor.)

I also added a pinch of salt. Chocolate needs salt - I remember this from my truffle making experience.

Place eggs in large bowl set over simmering water, stirring constantly until warm (do not allow eggs to begin to set). Remove from heat and whip until tripled in volume and soft peaks form. If using, add sugar slowly to eggs once they begin to froth.

I was afraid I'd get instant "setting," so I started using the handmixer on the eggs as soon as I put them in the double boiler. Once I was sure they were warmed through, I took them off and contined mixing. I never did get soft peaks. I got to foamy ribbons, and left it at that.

Fold about 1/3 of eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated, making sure to scrape bottom of bowl well. Gently fold in remaining egg mix just until blended, again being sure to scrape to the bowl's bottom.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Set the pan in the roasting pan, and gently pour very hot water in the roasting pan to a depth of about 1".

Place pans in oven; bake cake for 5 minutes. Cover top of cake loosely with buttered foil and bake 10 minutes more. The cake will look soft.

Remove from oven and carefully remove from roasting pan (watch for the dripping hot water). Cool on wire rack 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm (about 3 hours). To unmold, wipe sides of pan with hot, damp towel. Run thin knife around inside of pan and release side. Place plastic-wrapped plate (NOT serving plate) atop and invert cake. Wipe bottom of pan with hot, damp towel and remove. Peel off parchment paper. Reinvert cake onto serving plate.

Frost as desired and chill. Cake may be served chilled, in which case the texture will be dense, rather like cheesecake. If cake is served at room temperature, the texture is soft, quite like the inside of a truffle. Delightful either way! I'm going plain with mine, as icing would be WAY too over the top, and homemade whipped cream won't travel in my car very well.

Suitable frostings include whipped cream, whipped chocolate buttercream, or creme anglaise (flavored with up to 2 T. of the same liqueur used in the cake if desired).

A wonderful combination is to frost with whipped cream and pool raspberry sauce beside each slice.

my results:
flourless chocolate truffle cake