Chocolate Truffle Cake for my Birthday

Birthdays always get me excited, especially one in the family or among close friends and of course mine. The midnight wishes, gifts, surprises, calls from friends you haven't been in touch with, the birthday cake...there' so much to look forward to.

I celebrated mine this week and it was a wonderful day spent with family and friends. The best part of the day was the gift from Icecream Maker!! I've been thinking of buying one for so long now, so this was just the perfect gift. Can't wait to use it.

I've never baked a cake for my birthday, we usually just get one from a bakery near our home. But last month I borrowed the Ghirardelli chocolate book from the library and I've been looking at all those amazing recipes and pictures and drooling over them ever since. Just thought I'd wait for my birthday to indulge myself. I wanted something intensely chocolaty and this truffle cake satisfied all my cravings.
The recipe for the cake has been adapted minimally from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. The cake by itself, was moist and delicious, and doesn't really need any icing. So if you're looking for a plain chocolate cake, this is a must try. Add the chocolate truffle and you're in Chocolate Heaven!!

Chocolate Truffle Cake

For the cake:
4 oz semisweet chocolate
113 gms / 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tbs honey
125 gms/ 1 cup all purpose flour
25 gms/ 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 extra large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120  ml / 1/2 cup buttermilk or milk

For the soaking syrup:
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs rum

For the truffle:
400 gms semisweet chocolate
300 ml cream
60 gms unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degree F.
Butter and line two 6" round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate, butter, sugar and honey over a double boiler and mix till smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda. Gently mix in the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and beat with a spoon until well blended.
Divide the mixture between the two pans.
Bake for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. When cool, turn out of the pans.

To make the soaking syrup, dissolve the sugar in the water and stir in the rum.

For the chocolate truffle, heat the cream and butter until the butter has melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Take off from heat and pour over the chocolate. Cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Uncover and mix till smooth and well combined. [U can start licking the sauce at this point...BLISS!! Between the three of us all our spoons were in the sink :) ]. Cover and let it sit overnight to set. The truffle will thicken as it sits. For piping designs you may have to refrigerate it to get the right consistency.

To assemble the cake, soak one layer with one third of the syrup and top with the truffle. Repeat with all the layers, frost the sides of the cake and then the top. Decorate as desired. Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Like I said in my last post, I had been on a long vacation to India, for three months. Had an awesome time. Nothing better than having your family close, one of the things I miss like crazy. Except for my parents, everyone was meeting me after about three years, a long time and obviously I've changed. "So you're a mom now, can't believe it", was a remark I heard very often. The same kids who called me ' Didi', now call me 'Aunty'...sigh!!...Another kid who remembered me runs up to me, "Hi Aunty, how are you? You are fatter now!!", and scurries off to play!! You can imagine my reaction.

We had a lot of get togethers with family and friends and so lot of opportunities to bake. I had these cookies bookmarked for a while from Martha Stewart and Patricia. They look too cute to eat, don't they? They were delicious, even without the chocolate and I actually left some plain without the filling. I used the back of a round measuring spoon to make the impressions and not my thumb (the cookies were really hot!!).