Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting and Chocolate Truffle Easter Eggs
Clara still doesn’t really understand holidays, but that hasn’t stopped us from celebrating them with her. The truth is – Eric and I love doing special little things for Clara, holiday or not. There’s such a fine balance, it seems, between celebrating a holiday and going completely over the top. What works for one family obviously isn’t the same as what works for another, but Eric and I like to keep things simple and fun. Clara’s getting a few new books, an adorable cloth diaper and some fruit and veggie pouches and snacks in her basket this year. If there’s any way we do go overboard, though, it would probably be food. Even though it’s just the three of us celebrating, there’s no reason we can’t have a nicer-than-usual meal. I hope Clara will remember us cooking and eating together when she grows up. After all, she won’t be getting Easter baskets forever, but we can make sure she has wonderful holiday memories even after she’s outgrown the Easter Bunny stage.
This cake is for the serious chocolate lover. I’m usually all for lighter Easter desserts (like this lemon loaf cake), but this intensely chocolaty cake cannot be beat. The cake is an ultra rich chocolate cake filled and frosted with whipped chocolate ganache and then completely covered with more chocolate ganache. Oh, then the whole thing is topped with homemade chocolate truffle eggs. The cake may seem labor intensive, but you can break it up into steps over a couple days to make it more manageable. I promise you, the end result is well worth it. Seriously, people, you need to make this cake this weekend. You absolutely will not regret it.
- COOK TIME:
- YIELD: 8-10 servings
For the chocolate eggs:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
Food coloring and luster dust (optional)
For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
½ cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
¾ cup water
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
For the glaze:
¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons corn syrup
To make the eggs, combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a small bowl set over a small pot of simmering water. Using a rubber spatula, stir until smooth and melted. Whisk in the butter until melted and combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm but pliable, about 2 hours.
Using a small scoop or tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough. Mold them into egg shapes, refrigerating as needed if the chocolate gets too warm. Once the shapes are formed, place them on a parchment lined plate and freeze for 1 hour.
When you are ready to dip the truffles, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl. If desired, tint with food coloring. Use a fork to dip each truffle center in the white chocolate and gently shake to remove excess. Return to the parchment lined plate and refrigerate until ready to serve. To apply luster dust, use a clean paint brush to gently brush it on.
To make the cakes, heat oven to 350º. Butter the bottom and sides of 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment, and then butter the parchment. Dust the pans with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the cocoa powder, espresso powder and water until dissolved. Add the sugar and continue whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Combine the chocolate and cream in a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Using a rubber spatula, stir until smooth and melted. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has stiffened to the texture of cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, whisk the ganache until smooth, fluffy and sightly lightened in color.
Level each cake if needed. Place one cake, cut side up, on a wire cooling rack and spread ½ cup of frosting over it. Top with the second cake, cut side down, and spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
While the cake is chilling, make the ganache glaze. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Place the chocolate and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over the top. Allow to sit for a minute, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Place the chilled cake on a wire rack over a piece of parchment, then pour the glaze over the top. Use an offset spatula to cover any bare spots. Refrigerate the cake until set, about 15 minutes. (Don’t make the mistake I did and decide to smooth the ganache as it was starting to set up. Oops.)
Top cake with truffle eggs and serve immediately.