The second week of my baking challenge is about to be over… I’m going though all the recipes looking at what I have already baked, trying to decide what still could be added and what’s missing in my rather fast growing collection of bakes. What I can see is indefinite sea of chocolate; chocolate truffles, chocolate brownies, chocolate decorations everywhere. At this point it’s quite obvious that milk and dark chocolate are my weakness. Although we have reached day 16, I have not prepared any dessert where white chocolate would play the first fiddle!
There is one recipe that I found out about while looking for a birthday cake for Nico, few years back. I remembered about it as that must have been the first cake in my baking ‘career’ that gathered quite a few compliments. Most importantly, birthday boy was over the moon. It’s not a traditional birthday cake though, it was actually presented as Christmas treat, and named as in the header of my post ‘White Christmas Truffle Cake’. However, no matter the occasion it will definitely make any day special!
Original Recipe White Christmas Truffle Cake
For the base:
eggs- 3 units
sugar- 65 g
four- 45 g
vanilla extract- 1tsp
For the truffle topping:
double cream- 1 1/4 cups
white chocolate- 350 g
mascarpone or full fat cream cheese- 250 g
For the base:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Butter and dust with flour 20cm, round baking tin.
2. Beat room temperature eggs, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl for about 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer until white, foamy and triple in volume.
3. Fold sifted flour in 3 additions with a spatula, be careful not to deflate the cake batter.
4.Bake for 15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on the wire rack.
For the truffle topping:
1. Bring the cream in a saucepan to a boil. Add chopped white chocolate and stir with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and completely incorporated into the cream. As soon as it’s done take off the heat and let the mixture come to a room temperature.
2. Add mascarpone and whip with a hand mixer until smooth. If using using cream cheese , whip the cheese until light and fluffy before adding cream and chocolate mixture and blending all ingredients together.
3.Pour the truffle mixture on top of the cake in the springform pan and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, better overnight.
4. Run the knife along the sides of the cake to release from the pan, then carefully remove from the mould.
Again, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t change something; to this recipe though, I introduced quite a few modifications. First of all, right at the very beginning of making the truffle topping, when you are supposed to warm up the cream and add chocolate in order to melt it. Instead of dropping chocolate into the pan right away, put vanilla stick into the cream first. 3 minutes in warm liquid is enough for vanilla stick to soak up and release the aroma. Next, I take it out and make an incision along the stick, trying to scoop out as much seeds as possible with the blunt side of knife blade. All the seeds go back into the pan with cream and now we are ready to start melting the chocolate! Does it make such a difference? I think it does as vanilla adds truly special hint to the flavour, elevates it and brakes plain sweetness of white chocolate. Seeds, on the other hand, make it look authentic and simply irresistible.
The other thing that I do differently is base of the cake. Let me explain why. Truffle cake needs, or at least should be refrigerated, not only to remain fresh but also to maintain its consistency. And that’s the key, consistency and texture. Trust me, this cake is all about it! Original base, although very tasty, gets pretty hard in low temperature. Therefore, when you take your cake out of the fridge ready to slice and serve, it still needs good few minutes to thaw. Which for more impatient ones, like me, ruins the experience.
What I do instead is, digestives-kind biscuits base. It’s got perfect texture and compliments the filling very well. Depending on thickness of the base you need approx. 12 to 15 biscuits. Directions are very easy; you need to turn the biscuits into dust (well, almost), either manually or using food processor/blender. In a small pan melt 3 Tbsp of unsalted butter. Once ready, pour butter into the bowl with crushed biscuits. Mix until both are well combined. The last thing to do is to transfer the mix into a baking tin, making sure that it evenly covers the bottom of it. Then pop to the oven for 10 minutes (175C). Cool completely before pouring chocolate filling on. That’s it, ready!
Whether you use the original recipe or decide to use my tips I am sure you will be amazed by how delicate and creamy this cake is. I don’t mind celebrating this version of white Christmas. 😉