A sweet little bite of this chocolate cake truffle is all I want after my Valentine’s Day dinner!
So let’s talk about Valentine’s Day desserts. I usually have grand plans and, even if I don’t make one myself, I buy something spectacular. The thing is though by the time we are done with our starters, bubbly and a main course I am feeling pretty full, so stuffing myself with a piece of cake doesn’t seem very appealing all of a sudden. Let’s just be honest for a minute here. Valentine’s Day dinner is not just a date, it’s a MEGA date and feeling bloated is just not an option!!
That being said, we all want a sweet little bite to finish off a delicious dinner, so that is when these chocolate cake truffles come to the rescue. On our last getaway to Prague we were welcomed into our Air B and B with a pair of cute little chocolate pastries, that were nestled on a beautiful plate near our bed. As soon as Brad bit into one, I could tell by his face he was immediately somewhere else. “Wow…that good?”, I thought to myself. I had to give it a try. Oh they were GOOD and what was even better I knew exactly what they were! In fact I grew up eating similar little pastries that are called ‘Kartoshka’ in Russian. Funny name actually, Google it if you are curious what it means and let me know in comments! 😉
These chocolate cake truffles might look luxurious but they have a very humble origin. Since they are made from a mixture of cake crumbs and frosting you can probably guess that the recipe was developed by bakers to use up day-old cakes and cake scraps to increase their bakery’s profit margins. Simple and genius. I still remember buying one of those incredibly cheap cake truffles once a week from a little tea house/bakery near a bus stop on my way home from a speed skating practice as a little girl. Ha! I just realised how incredibly Russian this sentence sounds!
Traditionally these chocolate cake truffles are made from a plain white sponge and a standard Russian buttercream, then rolled in cocoa powder. For the Valentine’s Day though, I decided to use my favourite chocolate cake recipe and dip them into melted chocolate instead of cocoa, then dust with a bit of freeze dried strawberry powder. My kids were the first taste testers and they both commented on how much they loved the strawberry dusting on top. It gives truffles just the right balance of the fresh strawberry taste and a rich chocolate flavour!
This amazing recipe makes 20 chocolate cake truffles, so quite a lot for just the two of you! Luckily, they freeze beautifully, which is what I am planning on doing since my honey is out of the country and not even around for the big day!
What I also love about this recipe is how easy it is, even children would be able to roll these little beauties!
I hope I gave you some Valentine’s Day inspiration. Personally I can’t wait to have this dinner because Brad has been travelling so much lately and I really miss him!!
- Flour- 1¾ cups
- Sugar- 1½ cups
- Cocoa- ¾ cup
- Baking powder- 1½ tsp.
- Baking soda- 1½ tsp.
- Salt- 1 tsp.
- Eggs- 2 large
- Milk- 1 cup
- Vegetable oil- ½ cup
- Vanilla- 2 tsp
- Butter-300 g/ 1 1/2 cups
- Sweet and Condensed Milk-1-397g tin/1 1/4 cup
- Vanilla-2 tsp
- Rum-2 tbsp optional to add to the cake/frosting mixture
- Dark Chocolate-300 g/10.5 oz
- Butter-120 g/1/2 cup
- 2 tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder
- dried rose petals optional
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
In a large mixing bowl combine sifted flour and cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and salt.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into a 9X13 rectangular pan.
Bake at 350F/180C for 50 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pan.
In a medium bowl whip softened butter. (The butter should be soft but still hold shape) Add sweet and condensed milk and vanilla and whip until well combined. If you frosting separates, which sometimes happens if the water content of the butter is too high, don't worry it will still work in the recipe. Alternatively, you can use 1 1/2 cups of prepared frosting.
Once the cake is cooled, crumble it with your fingers directly in the pan.
In a large bowl combine cake crumbs with the frosting and rum if using until you have a homogenous mass.
Using a small ice cream scoop measure out 20 golf ball-sized truffles, roll them into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, refrigerate for 1 hour to firm them up.
In a double boiler or a thick bottomed saucepan melt chopped chocolate with butter over very low heat.
Dip each truffle into the chocolate glaze using a fork and a spoon, place each truffle on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with freeze dried strawberry powder before the chocolate glaze is set.
Refrigerate to set.
Happy Valentine’s Day!! xo
Julia and Brad
Photo credit: Noemi Photography