Chocolate Rum Truffle Cake
A host of popular flavors -- almond, vanilla, and raspberry, along with chocolate and rum -- take on a variety of roles in this big production number. This dessert is almost a course in the art of pastry making all by itself. The bisquit decor is similar to a roulade; meringue is folded into the batter so that it is flexible after baking.
- Bisquit Decor Sheet
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Whole Egg - 1
- Sugar - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Egg Whites - 3/4 cup (about 6 whites)
- Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- Cake flour - 1 cup, sifted
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 3 tablespoons
- Eggs - 3
- Sugar - 6 tablespoons
- Cake flour - 1/2 cup
- Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon, melted
- Rum Syrup
- Water - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Myers’s Dark Rum - 1/4 cup, or to taste
- Chocolate Bavarian Cream
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 12 ounces, chopped
- Unflavored gelatin - 2 envelopes
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Creme Anglaise (see Basics) - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 3 cups
- Chocolate Ganache
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 12 ounces, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Chocolate-Rum Truffles
- Semi-sweet chocolate - 15 ounces, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Myers’s Dark Rum - 3 tablespoons, to taste
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1 cup
- Mocha Butter Cream
- Water - 3 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Egg Yolks - 6 large
- Unsalted Butter - 2 cups (4 sticks), at room temperature, cut into small pieces
- Coffee extract or double-strength brewed espresso - 2 tablespoons
- Apricot Jam - 1-1/4 cups
- Creme Anglaise (see Basics) - 1-1/2 cups
- Raspberry Puree (see Basics) - 6 tablespoons
- Fresh strawberries - unhulled, halved
- Fresh raspberries
To make the bisquit decor: Preheat the oven at 400 F. Line a 13-by-17-inch sided baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper.
Combine the egg yolks, egg, and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at high speed until mixture is pale in color and thick, about 10 minutes. Add the extract. Fold the flour into the egg mixture.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. Remove one-third of the batter to a separate bowl and fold the cocoa into it. Refrigerate the remaining batter. Place the chocolate batter in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe diagonal stripes onto the prepared pan. The stripes should be 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and spaced 1 inch apart. Place in the freezer until firm to the touch.
Carefully spread the reserved batter over the chocolate. Smooth lightly, so the darker lines are not disturbed. Place in the oven and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove from the pan. Trim the edges to square them off, then cut into 1-inch-wide lengthwise strips. Set aside.
To make the genoise: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper or waxed paper. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together over simmering water until warm to the touch. Remove and beat with the machine until the mixture cools, about 10 minutes. The mixture will double in volume. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then add the vanilla. Fold the butter into the batter and pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for a few minutes, then remove from the pan. Let the cake cook completely. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the browned outside surface from the top, bottom, and sides of the cake. Carefully split the cake horizontally into 3 layers. Set aside.
To make the chocolate Bavarian cream: In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate. Place the water in a cup and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let sit for 2 minutes. In a small saucepan, combine the creme anglaise and gelatin mixture and heat over low heat until the gelatin dissolves. Stir the creme anglaise mixture into the melted chocolate. Let cool to lukewarm. In a deep bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold it into the chocolate. Let sit until ready to use.
To make the ganache: In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Stir the warm cream into the chocolate, being careful not to beat air into the mixture. Reserve 1 cup for the top for the torte and keep warm. Refrigerate the remaining ganache.
To make the chocolate-rum truffles: In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt 9 ounces of the chocolate. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, butter, and sugar and heat over low heat until the butter and sugar are melted. Pour the cream mixture into the chocolate and stir until mixed. Let cool slightly, then stir in the rum. Refrigerate until firm.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate. Place the cocoa in a pie tin. Roll the chilled truffle mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You will have 24 to 30 truffles. Refrigerate again for a few minutes. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate to coat, then drop the ball into the cocoa and coat it by shaking the container. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all balls are coated. Refrigerate until needed.
To prepare the mocha butter cream: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and cook over medium heat until the syrup is light golden and registers 242 F on a candy thermometer or reaches the soft ball stage: a small amount dropped into cold water forms a soft and pliable ball. Let cool slightly.
Place the egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer and begin to beat at high speed. Gradually add the sugar syrup and continue to beat until the mixture cools. Gradually add the butter, beating after each addition and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the coffee extract or espresso.
To assemble the cake: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Place an 8-inch stainless steel ring that is 3 inches deep or so on the prepared pan. Place 1 layer of the genoise in the bottom of the ring. Line the sides of the ring with the bisquit decor, placing it in the ring with the chocolate-striped side facing the sides. Be sure to press the sections together tightly. Brush the sides and bottom generously with the rum syrup.
Whip the chilled ganache in an electric mixer until creamy, then place it in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Spread a layer of chocolate Bavarian cream over the genoise. Pipe a layer of the ganache on top of the cream. Add a second layer of genoise and gently press it down to bond. Brush the genoise with rum syrup, then repeat the layers of chocolate Bavarian cream and ganache. Place the last layer of genoise on top and again press down gently. Brush the top with rum syrup and place the cake in the freezer until firm.
Remove the cake from the freezer and wrap a hot towel around the ring for a few seconds to help unmold it. Invert the cake onto the center of a cardboard cake round (preferably gold). Remove the ring. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top to seal the porous pastry. Smooth with a wet knife, removing excess. Chill again until the buttercream is firm.
In a small heavy pan, warm the jam over low heat. Push the jam through a fine-meshed sieve with the back of a large spoon. Using a pastry brush, coat the sides of the torte with the apricot glaze to seal the sponge. This will retain moisture and give a beautiful sheen. Remove any excess glaze from around the edge of the torte.
The reserve unrefrigerated ganache should now be warm enough to spread, but not so warm that it will melt the buttercream. Ladle the ganache onto the center of the top of the cake and smooth it outward without going over the edge onto the sides. It should just cover the top. Wipe off any drips from the sides. While the ganache is still warm, space 10 truffles around the outer edge of the top. Refrigerate again.
To serve: Use a warmed knife to cut the cake. Be sure to clean off the knife after each cut to assure attractive servings. Place 1 wedge on each dessert plate. Ladle 2 tablespoons of creme anglaise alongside each portion.Dot the cream in 5 or 6 places with the raspberry sauce and use the point of a knife to pull downwards through each dot, making hearts. Brush the strawberries with some of the apricot glaze and garnish the plates with the strawberries and raspberries.