Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chocolate Fig Truffle Cake

It all started with this sketch in class. Yes, I was sketching in class,'s a class where you can sketch.   Apparently it's a class where you can also sleep, talk, text or surf the web, so I didn't feel too bad about sketching while listening. Besides, inspiration had struck: a fig truffle cake.
It took me quite a while to find a recipe to adapt, before I found the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte in The Cake Bible (find it on my books page). Three ingredients: eggs, butter and chocolate. Not only did it sound amazing, but it had directions for adding raspberry puree: exactly what I was looking for. I prepared the truffles for garnishing, then boiled down some fresh figs with some lemon juice and honey to make a fig jam.
The cake was really easy to make and WOW delicious (: I woke up the morning after baking and took my pictures just as the sun was rising above the trees in our yard. The pictures therefore have a kind of "cake for breakfast" look, which is exactly what we had! I even brought the cake to my Chinese cooking class where it was appreciatively devoured. It didn't taste very figgy except for the occassional crunch from a seed, you wouldn't know the figs were there, so I garnished the cake with figs, dredged in agave.
Please enjoy the pictures and this simple recipe which will probably become one of your new favorites. It is quick to prepare, but please note the chilling times (almost 4 hours) so that you don't make it right before dinner and have to wait til the next day to eat it (:

Shone Farm figs

 Chocolate Fig Truffle Cake
adapted from the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte in The Cake Bible, find it on my books page.

You will need:
1 lb bittersweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs ( 1 1/4 scant cups if you want to be exact)

If using a fruit puree, you'll need:
2/3 cup puree
1/4 cup sugar

1 8" springform pan
A roasting pan or casserole dish to serve as a water bath

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Butter the springform pan and line the bottom with a buttered parchment round. Wrap the outside with two layers of tin foil to protect the pan from any leaks in the water bath.

In a large heatproof bowl over a pan of hot, not simmering water, (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) combine the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. (OR you can put a heatproof bowl in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring until mostly melted. Then stir until fully melted and the heat is evenly distributed).
In another large bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Add the 1/4 cup sugar now if you are adding any fruit puree or preserves. Beat the eggs with the whisk attachment of an egg beater over the heat until hot. Then remove from heat and beat until cool and triple in volume.
Add your puree to your melted chocolate and butter and incorporate.
Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold half of the eggs into your chocolate gently, until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain. Finish by scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Scrape into the prepped pan and smooth with a spatula.
Set the pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1" of very hot water. Bake for 5 minutes. Loosely cover with a piece of buttered tin foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
Remove from oven and set cake on a rack to cool for 45 minutes. It will look wet when you first take it out, but that's ok. It's going to set up as it cools.
Then chill the cake for 3 hours or until completely firm.

To unmold your creation:
Have ready a serving plate and a flat plate( I used a light cutting board), covered with plastic wrap.  Wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel.
Run a thin, metal spatula around the sides of the cake and release the sides of the springfrom pan. Place the plastic-wrapped plate on top and invert. Wipe the bottom of the pan with a hot, damp, towel. Remov the bottom of the pan and parchment. Reinvert onto your serving plate!

I garnished my fig cake with fig slices dredged in agave and chocolate truffles. Here's a simple recipe for truffles:

Chocolate Truffles

1 lb. Semisweet chocolate
1 cup cream
6 tbs. Butter (3 oz.)

Bring the cream to a boil.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter.  Stir until smooth.  Refrigerate until firm.  Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment on the mixer on medium speed until light.  Add a liqueur if desired.  Form into balls with your hands, or pipe into small rounds onto parchment-lined sheets.  Freeze until firm before coating, rolling in nuts, or rolling in cocoa powder.


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