I know we’re nearing the middle of October, which should mean full throttle ahead with the Halloween stuff, but today, I’m taking a quick break to talk about cake. I’m sure I mentioned earlier this month that October is one of my busier months, not only because of all of the Halloween baking, but also because we have not one, not two, but THREE family birthdays this month. So today, I thought I would share with you the cake I made for my father-in-law’s birthday. Since it is a death by chocolate cake, maybe we could say it counts a little for Halloween? Just a little? You know, because it’s death by cake… or, maybe cake or death? Cake please! (You’re welcome the two people out there that got my Eddie Izzard reference)
Death by Chocolate Cake
Makes one 3-layer 6″ cake
For the chocolate truffles:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. honey or light corn syrup
6 oz. (180 grams) semi-sweet dark chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Extra baking cocoa for dusting
For the cake:
1 stick (113 grams) butter
1/2 cup milk (whole if you have it)
1 bar (100 grams) dark chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
3 egg whites (from large eggs)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 sticks (226 grams) butter, cold
4 tbsp. baking cocoa
White chocolate chips for garnishing (optional)
You’ll want to start with the truffles for this cake, since they’ll need some time to chill. Personally, I like to make them the day before. To make the truffles, heat the heavy cream, butter, and honey (or light corn syrup) in a small saucepan until it almost reaches a boil. In a medium-size bowl, pour the hot mixture over your chocolate (you’ll want to break it into small chunks or use chips). Add the vanilla extract and stir until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is firm enough to handle. Roll the chocolate into small teaspoon size balls, and coat with the baking cocoa. For best results, store the truffles in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
For those of you that have been following this blog, you might recognize the cake recipe. It is, in fact, my super duper secret chocolate cake recipe (or a half batch of it, to be more accurate) and the same one I used in my black forest cake. So rather than repeat the instructions again here, I’ll just refer you to my post on making the perfect chocolate cake instead. Once you’ve got your cake batter, divide into evenly across three 6″ greased and lined cake pans (it works out to just about 1 cup of batter per pan) and bake for 18-20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
While the cake cools, you can whip up your frosting. In the bowl of a kitchen mixer (like a KitchenAid) over a pot of boiling water, whisk your egg whites and granulated sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Fit your bowl into your kitchen mixer and whisk the egg white mixture until a stiff meringue forms. Cube your cold butter and, using the paddle attachment, beat the meringue adding a piece of butter at a time. Beat until a smooth mixture forms (about 10 minutes). Add the baking cocoa and vanilla extract, and beat on low until all ingredients are just combined.
To assemble your cake, top each layer of cake with a layer of frosting and white chocolate chips (you can use a large star tip and a piping bag to make the frosting extra pretty). Top the cake with a few extra dollops of frosting, and garnish with the white chocolate chips and the truffles.
This cake is delicious, but super rich and decadent! What’s your favorite decadently rich dessert? Share in the comments below!