So on to the cake. I decided to make a chocolate cake and used a recipe from my Divine Chocolate book. All of the recipes that I have tried from this book have been wonderful. I really do like this book but then I love anything to do with chocolate.
While the cake was baking and then cooling I started to make the chocolate truffles. These are so easy to make yet totally delicious. I have made them several times and they make a wonderful gift too. I decided to flavour these truffles with some Baileys Irish Cream but they are still delicious without this. I had to go back and finish the truffles later as you do need to let the mixture set for several hours.
The truffle recipe
275g dark chocolate broken into piece
250ml double cream
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
3-4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream according to taste
1. Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted, trying not to create bubbles. Leave to cool for 2 mins. 2. Add the butter in two stages, stiring gently. Once the butter is incorporated, the ganache should be smooth and glossy with no oil slick on the surface. Set the truffle mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
3. Remove the ganache from the fridge about 15 mins before you want to make the truffles, depending on room temperature. Put the cocoa in a bowl. Ensure your hands are cold and dry, then dust them with cocoa.
4. Take spoonfuls of the ganache mixture (use a teaspoon or tablespoon depending on how large you like your truffles) and roll the mixture into a ball in your cocoa-dusted hands. I decided to coat some of my truffles in melted chocolate and some in cocoa. For the cocoa dusted ones, drop each shaped truffle into the bowl of cocoa, turn it around and then toss it between your palms to remove any excess powder. Please each individual truffle in a mini petit four case. For the other truffles melt some chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. I did some white chocolate and some milk chocolate. Leave the melted chocolate to cool. Once cooled dip the truffles in the chocolate and place on baking paper to set. Once set put each truffle into a mini petit four case.
Once the cake is cool, slice it into two with a sharp knife. Make some chocolate ganache by melting 100g of dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once it has melted whisk in 175ml double cream until it is smooth. Leave to cool and then spread some chocolate ganache on one half of the cake and then sandwich the two halfs back together again. Use the rest of the chocolate ganache to ice the top and sides of the cake.
Then draw an outline of the cake tin onto some baking parchment and cut it out. You will need red fondant icing for the next part. I cheated and bought mine from my local cake shop but you can colour it yourself with food colouring. Roll out the icing and then place your baking parchment heart on the top. Use a cocktail stick to mark the heart onto the icing. Cut out the heart shape and place on the top of your cake.
Roll out some more red fondant into a long strip. Cut the edges so they are straight and make sure that the strip is slightly wider than the height of the cake. Carefully wrap the strip of fondant around the cake. I rolled out my fondant a little thin so I would recomment that you keep this quite thick so that it doesn't bend over where it is higher than the cake.
Then all you need to do is fill the top of the cake with your truffles.