It’s Christmas week and the question I seem to hear everywhere I go is “Are you ready for the holidays?” Umm, my initial response is no because I still have a million things to do, and the main reason for it is every free minute I get I spend baking! I’ve wanted to make this cake as soon as I posted my White Christmas Truffle Cake last Christmas and my desire got even stronger when the cake became insanely popular with you, my friends.
Many of you loved the simplicity of that cake but some people still struggled with the execution, so I commissioned a bunch of my friends in the US to make the cake following the recipe exactly and I tested it again with white and then with dark chocolate. So what you have here is the reverse White Christmas Truffle Cake, it is Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake and it is glorious!! I treated this cake to a splash of brandy and gold leaves for decoration because it’s Christmas and everything deserves a touch of glitz and glamour!
As I was carefully placing very thin and delicate edible gold leaves on the cake with tweezers, I was realising the task was more intricate than I had first expected. The gold leaves were tearing easily and sticking to my fingertips. I kept licking my fingers, then washing them off, then continuing with the arduous job only a ‘goldsmith” could have handled better. Can you believe I was literally licking gold off my fingers?! That’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!!
Because I got quite a few questions about the White Christmas Truffle cake and some people mentioned that a video would’ve been helpful, I decided to make this cake on Instagram Stories. Since they only last 24 hours I also posted them on my Facebook page, where you can see what the process is like!! That’s a first for me and I found talking while cooking so difficult!!
What I learned from making this cake is the dark chocolate layer sets firmer than the white one, probably due to it being less creamy. If you want the truffle layer to be very smooth you have to mix mascarpone into the chocolate and cream mixture before it’s completely cool, as the residual heat helps the blending process. This method will work for everyone in the UK. As I am less familiar with dairy products in the US, I would suggest whipping your mascarpone or cream cheese and then gradually add cooled cream and chocolate mixture and whip again to obtain the consistency of thick sour cream.
The result will blow your mind, I tell you! Silky smooth truffle layer sits atop a chocolate cake layer, you will only want a small slice of this indulgent dessert to satisfy your cravings!
- ⅓ cup/ 85 ml Guinness or other stout
- 2 tbsp strong black coffee
- ½ cups/ 115 gr unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup/ 4½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup/ 150g all purpose flour
- 1 cup/225 g sugar
- ⅔ tsp baking soda
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg
- 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup/125 ml creme fraiche/sour cream
- 1¼ cups/ 300 g double cream/heavy cream (I used 48% fat double cream)
- 12 oz/350 g dark chocolate, chopped (measured by weight)
- 9 oz/250 g mascarpone or cream cheese (full fat only)
- 2 tbsp brandy (optional)
- Edible gold flakes and gold sanding sugar for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
- Grease a 9" round cake pan and line the bottoms with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a saucepan heat stout, coffee and butter together until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, add cocoa powder while whisking continuously to avoid lumps until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Blend flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a different bowl. Mix eggs, vanilla and creme fraiche with an electric mixer in bowl no 3.
- Now check on your chocolate mixture and make sure it’s cool enough to continue the process.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg and creme fraiche mixture and blend them together.
- Add flour mixture a little bit at a time and beat on low speed until combined. Pour into the pan and level.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 min. Always test your cake for doneness with a toothpick or a cake taster. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes , then take it out and cool completely a wire rack.
- Bring the cream in a saucepan to a boil and take it off the heat. Add chopped dark chocolate and stir with a whisk until the chocolate in melted and completely incorporated into the cream. Let the mixture come to a room temperature, mix in brandy if using.
- Add mascarpone and whip with a hand mixer until smooth. If using cream cheese instead of mascarpone, whip the cheese until light and fluffy before adding cream and chocolate mixture and blending the ingredients together.
- Put the sponge layer back in the springform.
- Pour the truffle mixture on top of the cake in the springform pan and chill in the refrigerator for at least for 2 hours or better overnight.
- Hold a knife over hot water for a minute, then wipe it dry with a towel, run a hot knife along the sides of the cake to release it from the pan, then carefully unmold it and move to a cake stand.
- Decorate with gold flakes and gold sanding sugar if desired.