Chocolate Lavender Truffle Cake
It’s safe to say that I’ve been on a chocolate cake kick lately! Which seems rather counterproductive when most of us are attempting to follow through on our New Year’s resolution to get in shape and eat healthy. But with Valentine’s Day only a week away how can you not indulge in a little chocolate to celebrate this lovestruck holiday? Especially when that chocolate comes in a pint-sized cake meant for two … well it really could feed more like four, but that means extra slices for a few days to follow.
I had a ton of fun with this cake and I’m gushing over how striking the color contrast turned out with the deep dark frosting (inspired by the Benjamin Moore Color of the Year, “Shadow”) and the burst of fuchsia from the silk orchid. We also added a few soft lavender roses in the back to hide the orchid stems.
Just a side note, using fresh roses on a cake or other food products is normally just fine, but orchids although not toxic can cause some reactions in certain people. To play it safe, we went with a very real looking silk orchid – because I really wanted that fuchsia color that’s hard to find in most flowers.
This lovely little cake is the perfect addition to our Valentine’s Date Night In, which you can check out here.
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup dried or fresh lavender
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 lb (16oz.) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon lavender
- 1 cup water
- 1 lb butter, softened
- 2 lbs 8 oz. powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar), sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 fluid oz. heavy cream
- Prepare the pans by greasing the bottom, then lining bottom with parchment paper or greasing and dusting the pan with cocoa powder.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the chocolate, milk and 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, but not boiling water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a different large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes. Beat in the chocolate and egg mixture, scraping sides of bowl until combined. Add in half of the flour mixture, then sour cream. Add in remaining flour mixture, scraping sides until just combined.
- Scoop batter evenly into prepared pans, smoothing top with a metal spatula. Batter will be slightly thick. Bake cakes for 10 minutes. Rotate pans in oven. Bake for another 10-15 minutes depending upon the size of your pans. The 6-in pans will need less cooking vs the 9-in pans. It’s very important not to overcook the cakes. Lightly press on the top of the cake, if it springs back slightly the cakes are ready.
- Cool pans on a rack for 5 minutes until cool, then turn cakes out onto the rack, remove paper and cool completely. If you’re not frosting immediately, wrap cakes in plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze until ready to use. I prefer to freeze all of my cakes before frosting. It makes it easier to frost the cake.
- In a small saucepan simmer 1 cup heavy cream with lavender for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and place in fridge for 1 hour to steep. Place chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Strain liquid and return flavored heavy cream back to saucepan. Add light corn syrup and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring to combine. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate and allow to sit. Once chocolate looks melted, stir to incorporate. Slowly add in butter and mix until ganache is fully combined. If using right away, place ganache over an ice bath to thicken quickly, stirring occasionally, or cover and place in fridge to chill. Rewhip ganache before using; do not over whip, which will cause ganache to separate.
- In a small saucepan add sugar, lavender and water. Simmer on medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain liquid into small container or squeeze bottle. Store in fridge until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, cream butter with a mixer until smooth, slowly adding in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Add in half of heavy cream and mix until smooth. Slowly add remaining heavy cream if needed, until a spreadable, but still think consistency is reached. Add icing color, if using and mix completely. Use immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to use. May require remixing after storing in fridge.
- Fill a large pastry bag, fitted with a extra large round tip #1A, with colored buttercream. You will have extra left over.
- Place 1 chocolate cake layer in the center of a cardboard cake round, then place on a revolving cake decorating stand. This will make transferring your cake to a cake plate much easier.
- Lightly brush top of chocolate cake with lavender simple syrup. Using your filled pastry bag, pipe a frosting ring or "dam" on the outer edge of the cake layer. This will keep the filling from leaking out. Spread ¼ cup lavender chocolate ganache in the center. Place second chocolate cake layer on top of first cake layer. Press gently and make sure both layers are even on top and sides.
- Repeat with simple syrup, frosting "dam" and lavender chocolate ganache. Top with next cake layer. Repeat with simple syrup, frosting "dam" and lavender chocolate ganache and finish with final cake layer, if doing the 6-in sized cake. Make sure all layers are even on top and sides.
- Using a small offset icing spatula, smooth any buttercream on sides of cake.
- Apply a crumb coat to entire cake. This is a thin layer of frosting that seals any loose crumbs that "dirty" your final coat of frosting. Place cake in fridge for 30 minutes to set the crumb coat.
- With remaining buttercream frosting, apply to entire cake. This is the fun part! Choosing how you want to sculpt your frosting. Smooth top and sides or create a pattern. The choice is up to you.
- Decorate frosted cake with flowers. I used fresh roses and a silk orchid. Make sure any flowers you use are no poisonous. Serve cake.
With love from my kitchen to yours,