Friday, 11 December 2015

Truffle Cake

December 9th, the Eastern Christianity celebrates St. Anne. The name comes from Hebrew "Channah", meaning "favour" or "grace". St. Anne, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus is an emblem figure, keeper of the families, guardian angel of all mothers. 

It happens, that we celebrate this name holiday, because of a special little family member. Our Ana is blessed with her name and we are blessed to have that magnificent creature for a daughter. I am sure her name suits her perfectly. 

What Ana loves the most as a dessert? Chocolate, may be some chocolate and a bit of chocolate, garnished with chocolate. I decided to make this truffle cake for her and knew it will become her favourite. What is truffle cake without truffles? I am very happy to use the formidably looking and delicately delicious truffles from Ferrero Rocher. They complete my recipe perfectly. 

for the cake:

60 g chocolate
100 g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks

4 egg whites
125 g sugar

110 g flour

prepare the cake:

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line an 8" cake pan.

1. Melt the chocolate at medium heat over a bain-marie. Set aside.
2. Beat the butter and salt until very creamy. Add the vanilla extract. Beat well.
3. Beat in the melted cooled chocolate.
4. Add the yolks one by one, beating well after each addition.
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar, until soft peaks are formed.
6. Fold in the whites to the butter mixture, alternating with the flour, finishing with the whites. Work gently to keep the volume of the whites.
7. Transfer to the pan and bake until the cake inserter comes out dry.
8. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

for the filling:

570 ml heavy cream
450 g dark chocolate Lindt

prepare the filling:

(prepare the filling a day in advance)

1. Chop the chocolate in a bowl.
2. Bring the cream to a boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
4. Refrigerate overnight or at least for 6 hours

prepare the chocolate shavings:

With a carrot peeler, "peel" a  block of Lindt chocolate to create chocolate shavings. Reserve at cool place until needed.


1. Cut the cake into four layers
2. Layer the cake, alternating the cake layers and filling.
3.Thinly cover the whole cake with the filling and freeze for an hour.
4. Cover with another thin layer of filling and smooth nicely. Keep it at room temperature. Save some of the filling to pipe the rosettes.
5. Cover with the chocolate shavings. Pipe twelve rosettes around the edge of the cake. Top each one with a truffle.
6. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
7. Store in a cold place. Serve cold.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Cream

This autumn was really pretty and stayed for the longest time. I have a feeling it is still fall outside - the flowers still have colours, the wind does not cut your ears when you walk outside, and robins are still chasing each other in the sky.

My roses were blooming in November. I did not cut them this year, I left them bloom and they really did to some point. Later though, they closed and prepared for the winter sleep.

In the month of December, there is a strong need for warmth and love. We do not have the snow out yet. But a nice glass of wine and a piece of chocolate cake in a late dark December night is always appreciated.

I think Smitten kitchen's idea has a perfect place in my collection of recipes now. 

This cake has a dense texture, but a very light taste. Red wine looses the alcohol during baking. As a characteristic of wine, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency as well as complexity. Tannins leave a unique after-taste to the cake, that makes a perfect combination with the mascarpone topping. 

for the cake:
(use a bundt cake form for this recipe)

125 g butter
180 g golden brown sugar
150 g custard sugar
3 large eggs

200 g flour
60 g cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

180 ml red wine, Merlot
50 ml tangerine 
20 ml heavy cream

prepare the cake:

1. Scale the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Measure the liquid ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter and both type of sugar, until very light and pale.
4. Ad the eggs - one by one.
5. Add one third of the liquid and then alternate with the dry ingredients.
6. Bake at 180°C, until a toothpick in the centre comes out clean.
7. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

for the topping:

200 g mascarpone cheese

30 g confectioners' sugar
200 ml heavy cream

prepare the topping:

1. Beat the mascarpone slightly.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the well chilled cream with the confectioners' sugar, to soft peaks.
3. Beat well both ingredients until well combined.


1. Using a star shaped nozzle, fill a piping bag with the topping.
2. Pipe swirls and stars of your choice.
3. Chill the cake for 4 hours.