A couple of weeks ago, I made a gf Germany chocolate layer cake for a good friend.
I had a few bits of the cake left over, including bits trimmed off to make the layer cake prettier. I don’t know enough about baking and desserts to invent a Christina Tosi-like Germany chocolate birthday crumbs (German chocolate cake birthday crumbs. Now there’s an idea. It might be good in a chocolate-chip-german-chocolate-cake-crumbs cookie…) But I did come across a recipe for truffles made of chocolate cake and other things that make your dentist happy and are possibly not good for you.
If having too much chocolate cake can ever be a problem.
The chocolate cake was crumbled up into a large mixing bowl, mixed with extra butter, cocoa powder, chocolate ganache, and the coconut-custard mix that was used for the layer cake filling. The mixture was thick, dark, dark brown, buttery-cocoa-y smelling. This mixture is rolled into balls, which are covered in a thick, dark chocolate ganache and topped with multi-coloured silvery cachous and dried rose petals.
Not every truffle was a perfect round or perfectly decorated, but together, they made a pretty plate and exuded the most enticing chocolate-y smell.
These truffles can be made with any good, rich chocolate cake. David Lebovitz’s blog has two variations on the German chocolate cake: a layer cake and cupcakes. I also saw similar truffle recipes that call for boxed cake mixes and ready-made frosting. Since the taste of the truffles will stand or fall by the taste of the cake, custard and chocolate, make sure you use the best you can get – or more importantly, use cakes, custards and chocolate that you love the taste of.
The ratio of cake and additional things was generally based on the ratios for cake balls: 5 parts chocolate cake, 2 parts custard, 1 part ganache, up to 1 part butter, and extra cocoa powder to intensify the chocolate taste. These amounts were tweaked for a gluten free cake, which is a bit crumbly and seemed to need extra moisture to bind the mix together. Depending on the cake you use – cakes made with wheat flour, denser and more moist cake, lighter or drier cake – you may need less butter (I would keep the same amount of custard and ganache for the taste, if possible).
On one of those intermittent warm afternoons, when Sydney fools us into thinking summer never ended, truffle making was exactly the kind of hands-on yet relatively easy going project to pass the time. The resulting truffles impressed the friends and colleagues we served them to, so this is one of those recipes that make you look good without commensurate effort. Bonus.
I am not saying you should make the Germany chocolate cake just for these truffles, but I may be suggesting next time you find some rich chocolate cake – don’t eat the whole cake – and make truffles instead.
You know you want to.
German chocolate cake truffles
Makes: as many as you have patience for.
500 grams dark chocolate cake*
200 grams coconut custard**
100 grams chocolate ganache***
50-100 grams butter, melted and cooled
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
200 grams chocolate ganache,*** melted and cooled somewhat
Ideas: cachous, dried rose petals, chopped pecans, shredded and toasted coconut.
* one chocolate cake recipe is available here, you can substitute AP / plain flour for the gf mix and keep everything else the same (the magic of a David Lebovitz recipe)
** the coconut custard recipe, using a heavy cream and yolk base, is also here. Or, Kailley’s Kitchen has an alternative custard recipe which uses condensed milk rather than cream.
*** the chocolate ganache recipe is also here. Or, for a harder coating, you can simply melt some chocolate over a double boiler. If you want a shiny coat, remember to use tempered chocolate.
1. Crumble the chocolate cake into a medium to large mixing bowl until you can’t see chunks of cake.
2. Add the coconut custard, ganache, and 50 grams of melted butter to the bowl. Mix well. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a little more butter and mix well (I added the extra butter in three lots). The mixture should be moist enough that it’s easy to form into a ball, and the ball should hold together and be firm enough to hold its shape.
3. Place one cake ball into the melted and cooled chocolate ganache. Roll it around with a fork or two skewers to ensure all sides are covered. Remove the cake ball from the ganache with the fork or skewers, hold it over the bowl of ganache for a second or two to allow excess chocolate to drip off, and place carefully on a plate. If the ganache is at the right temperature, it should flow to cover the dents where the skewers or fork prongs were.
Alternately, place the cake balls on a place,slightly spaced apart. Spoon the warm ganache over the cake balls, try to make sure the ganache flows over the sides evenly.
4. After you have coated 20 cake balls, the ganache will have become more solid. This is a good time to place decorations on them.
5. Repeat for the other cake balls. You may need to re-heat the ganache once or twice.