Friday, November 03, 2006

Chocolate Truffle Cake

In my mind I think I don't make much sweet stuff - and yet here's another one so I have more sweet things than soups on this site at the moment. This cake is a decadent confection of whipped chocolate on a thin rum soaked sponge base that I have been making for years. It used to be my party piece - any time I was doing a dinner party or someone was having a birthday I would whip one of these up and it would be unfailingly good.

The recipe comes from Raymond Blanc's Cooking for Friends, given to me for Christmas many years ago by my friend Andrea. Indeed she was probably there when I first made this. If not she's been present for quite a few of the subsequent ones. Raymond Blanc describes it along the lines of it being a simple and impressive dessert for chocolate lovers which is true but it is much more than that - it's brilliant too for sharing out mid afternoon. I have made this current one for the office - it is my birthday tomorrow and it is a tradition here that you must supply cake for all so they can celebrate. I don't quite know why - in Oz when it is your birthday someone else takes you out for lunch or drinks or cake and generally makes you feel special. I guess it's a cultural thing.

It turns out that it is actually many years since I have made this particular chocolate truffle cake - the lovely boyfriend was intrigued as I whipped it up because he's never had one. He's such a chocoholic cakey pig I'm surprised it's never been on the menu for him because he would love it. I'll save him a slice.

Truffière de Chocolat

50g/2oz caster sugar
50ml/2oz water
50ml/20z dark rum
2 egg whites
60g/2 1/4oz caster sugar
2 egg yolks
10g/1/4oz unsweetened cocoa powder
50g/2oz plain flour, sieved
10g/1/4oz unsalted butter, melted
100g/4oz maya spiced green & black chocolate - or use plain if you can't find it
250g/10 oz bitter chocolate
500ml/18fl oz whipping cream

Make a stock syrup by putting the water into a samll pan then add 50g caster sugar. Bring to the boil, skim off any impurities, then simmer till the sugar has dissolved. Measure 50ml then add the rum. Reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. To make the sponge base, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks, then add the sugar gradually, continuously beating. When all the sugar is beaten in, whisk in the egg yolks. Finally fold in the flour and cocoa delicately, followed by the melted butter. Pour into a lined 25cm/10" spring form pan, spread evenly to a 1cm/ 1/2" thickness. Cook in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Put the sponge base back into the springform pan and, with a pastry brush, dampen it with the sugar/rum mix.

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl placed over a bain-marie. Keep the water temperature low or the chocolate will granulate. Stir and make sure allo f the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly.

Separately in a large bowl, whip the cream. Briskly mix one quarter of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate, then pour the mixture into the bulk of the whipped cream. Fold in gently with a spatula until just homogenised.

Pour the chocolate cream on to the rum soaked sponge base. Smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Before you unmould it run a hot cloth around the outside of the pan. Undo the pan, lift off gently, slice and serve.

Good enough to party.


Ayse said...

hi, this looks yummy!

i would really like to try this recipe, what can i use in substitute to rum?

bron said...

You could just use the plain sugar syrup to moisten the base or a very thin layer of best quality raspberry jam or even orange marmalade if you use the spiced chocolate. Warm the jam gently then tip it through a fine sieve to take out pieces of fruit then brush on to the sponge base and go from there.