Chocolate & Chocolate

Easter_chocolate_cake

You might be wondering why am I posting a Easter looking like cake on the blog when October is around the corner. Well as you know by know the beginning of the year has been quite intense and kept me away from the blog and my kitchen. But there were still a few celebration here and there and especially birthdays.

Last April was my darling sister in law Floor birthday and you just know I wasn’t going to even think about showing up without a birthday cake. Fortunately, just about everyone in the family knows about my obsession and didn’t even asked if I would be okay to bring the cake they just told me to. I was actually kind of obsessed with figuring out a way to make a Easter cake, that will feel just like my sister in law, sweet, pretty & cute and thus started some research online to find inspiration when I found Martha Stewart’s beautiful rich chocolate cake that looked like a bird nest. And just like this little baby came to life.

So why posting it now? Well I am back on the blog and when I made the cake I couldn’t resist to share the picture online on my Facebook page and at the time loads of friends asked for the recipe. So here it goes, it might not be in season but whatever it’s super pretty and to be honest … does it really need to be easter for such a pretty cake? Why not baby showers?!

Rich Chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache frosting and truffle egg nest. 

Serves 8
Cooking time: 3hrs incl. resting time.

Ingredients for the cake:

– vegetable oil
– 70gr of cocoa powder
– 250gr of butter
– 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
– 170ml of water
– 340gr of sugar
– 2 eggs
– 120ml of buttermilk
– 2 tbsp of vanilla extract
– 280gr of flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 230gr dark chocolate
– 170ml heavy cream
– 2 tbsp honey
– 200gr milk chocolate

For the chocolate frosting:

– 230gr of dark chocolate
– 100ml heavy cream

Ingredients for the truffle eggs: (if you don’t feel like making your own truffle eggs – around easter you will be able to find them in stores).

– 230gr dark chocolate
– 60ml heavy cream + 2tbsp
– 125gr butter
– 100gr white chocolate
– food colouring

Method:

Preheat oven to 180. Coat two 20cm cake pans with vegetable oil, cover in baking paper. I would recommend to oil the baking paper again and sprinkle with cocoa powder, shaking off excess.

Melt butter in a large pot and whisk in water, cocoa powder and espresso powder until dissolved. Whisk in sugar and remove from heat. Add the remaining wet ingredients first, then dry ingredients, and mix until fully incorporated. Pour into cake pans and bake for 45-50 minutes.

To make the chocolate frosting, put the chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the consistency of stiff cream cheese, this will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk until fluffy and smooth.

When the cake is done, remove and let cool in pans for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and let sit until cool to the touch.

Cut off the rounded tops of both cake layers to make them flat. Place one layer cut-side up on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread a little less than half the frosting in the center of the cake. Cover by laying the second half cut-side down and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until frosting is firm.

Melt the dark chocolate, heavy cream and honey together in a heat-proof bowl over boiling water. Let cool for several minutes before pouring over cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now to make the truffle eggs, put the dark chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth; remove from heat. Stir in butter.

Pour into a loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until very cold and set but still pliable, about 2 hours.

Using a teaspoon scoop balls of ganache, transferring them to baking sheets lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Using your hands, roll each ball into an egg shape. Place in freezer until very firm, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put 1 1/2 pounds white chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth; remove from heat. Divide between 2 medium bowls. Add food colouring to 1 bowl until desired blue shade. Add a few drops of food colouring to other bowl, and swirl lightly with a toothpick.

Working with one at a time, dip half of the eggs in blue chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip back into bowl. As you work, transfer eggs to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Truffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Before serving, shave milk chocolate with a large knife and garnish on top of cake with your beautiful truffle eggs.

Wine recommendation:

I recommend to pair this rich chocolate cake with a Champagne brut.

The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:

The chocolate cake was a great desert. The intensity of the chocolate always surprises me, and the way Raphaëlle enhanced the flavours with the topping really hit the spot. The cake was pretty too: even I though it was a plus to colour the chocolate eggs. My little sister was really happy with it, and we spent a great time enjoying it together. But be aware: as always, the eyes are larger than the stomach, so don’t take a too big a slice (chocolate can be heavy).

Rating: 9/10

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