Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake
This Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake was not only one of our most popular wedding cakes, it was also enjoyed as a groom’s cake.   Consisting of four layers of chocolate cake, two layers of raspberry jam and one layer of chocolate truffle, it stands tall and stately.

The wedding cake was usually finished in Italian Buttercream as shown, but the groom’s cake was more often glazed in a deep chocolate. Chocolate curls were often the final finish.

It’s interesting to me that changing one ingredient made the cake cut so much better.  This was our base chocolate cake used at the bakery for many cakes.  Because it is made with oil and not butter, it stays moist and soft for days.  Dutch cocoa gives it the darkest of colors and a strong chocolate flavor.

I’m not sure why or when I decided to change the original buttermilk to sour cream.  It may have been as simple as I didn’t have buttermilk.  But it made a great difference in the texture of the cake.  The original cake crumbed a lot when cut.  The sour cream holds the cake together better and as a result the slices look better when cut.

The Italian buttercream is a great contrast both in looks and flavor to the deep, dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake. It remains one of my favorite frostings.  While it can be flavored many ways, I have always used equal parts of vanilla and almond providing a more complex flavor.

An Italian buttercream is simply a meringue made with simple syrup into which a lot of butter is added.  The buttercream itself can be made a week ahead and refrigerated tightly closed, or it can be frozen.  My post on Swiss and Italian Buttercreams has everything you ever wanted to know and more about these classic cake finishes including how to make them ahead and reconstitute them to their silky finish after being refrigerated or frozen.  The entire recipe is shown in step-by-step photos that take any intimidation out of making these.

Decorators love using this buttercream because it goes on smoothly and holds a great edge when piped.  It cuts perfectly at room temperature.  We would set up wedding cakes from 4 to 6 hours ahead of time and there was never a problem.  However, the one caveat is that a cake with Italian buttercream does not withstand a lot of heat so outdoors in the hot summer is not recommended.

It is important to serve this Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake at room temperature for all of the flavors to be appreciated.

Base Chocolate Cake

For how to pictures, go here.

1 cup hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams or 14 ounces)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (245 grams or 8 1/2 ounces)
1 cup Dutch cocoa (85 grams or 3 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream (225 grams or 8 ounces)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the desired number of round baking pans with parchment rounds and spray centers only with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, place the water and coffee; whisk to mix and dissolve the coffee.  Add the sugar and mix just until incorporated.  It will become very syrupy.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to the

coffee mixture and mix on low to incorporate – about 2 minutes.  It will be very thick.  Add the oil, mixing on low, next add the sour cream and then the eggs and vanilla each time mixing completely – about 30 second each.

Divide the batter between the pans (see weights below).  Bake for the times listed or until they spring back when lightly touched or a cake tester comes out clean.

Yield:  1320 grams or about 46 ounces.

2 – 9×2 inch layers equals 670 grams or 23 1/2 ounces each.  Bake for about 28 to
33 minutes.  Baked layers are about 1 inch tall.

3 – 9×2 inch layers equals 440 grams or 15 1/3 ounces each.   Bake for about 20 to 25
minutes.  Baked layers are about 2/3 inch tall.

4 – 9×2 inch layers equals 330 grams or 11 1/2 ounces each. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes
minutes.  Baked layers are about 1/2 inch tall.

Chocolate Truffle Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 grams or 1 ounces)
2 tablespoons sugar (25 grams or scant ounce)
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (140 grams)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the cream, butter and sugar until steaming and the butter is melted.  Whisk gently to make sure the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla, submerging the chocolate under the cream.

Let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.  Stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of the chocolate.  Gently whisk to smooth out any unmelted chocolate.  Using a rubber spatula, go around the bottom edges to make sure all of the chocolate is incorporated.

Cool to room temperature.  If it is too soft, refrigerate to set up.  This may be made days ahead and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature to use.

Assembly of the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake

4 layers Chocolate Cake Base Layer
1 cup seedless red raspberry jam
Chocolate Truffle Filling
Italian Buttercream, below

Place one layer of cake on a cake board.  Spread it with 1/2 half cup raspberry jam.

Place a second layer on top and spread that with the truffle filling.

Top with the third layer of cake and spread with the remaining 1/2 cup raspberry jam.

Place the last layer of cake on top.

Place in the freezer to set the fillings making the cake less wiggly to finish.  It can be frozen at this point, but thaw in the refrigerator before finishing.

Italian Buttercream

For how to pictures, go here.

Adding the sugar to the egg whites as they are beating stabilizes them and allows them to be held while the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature.  Whipped egg whites should never stop being beaten if other ingredients are to be added as they can granulate which makes them unusable.

If the proper stage of the egg whites has been obtained and the syrup is not ready, simply turn the machine to one or low and keep the mixture moving in the bowl.  This is all you need to hold them.  However, this technique is not successful unless they are stabilized with the sugar to prevent them from drying out.

6 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 whites from large eggs)
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter (5 sticks or 570 grams), softened to between 72°F and 75°F but not runny.

This small amount of sugar syrup comes to temperature very fast after it reaches 220 degrees.  Watch is carefully to prevent it from going too high.  Place the water in a small saucepan.  Add the sugar and stir; bring to a boil.  Wash down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystallization.  Boil to 250 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Simultaneously, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a 5-quart mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar.  Beat until stiff on high, then immediately turn them down to low or #1 to hold them.

When the sugar syrup is ready, raise the mixer to medium and slowly pour it over the whites.  Aim for between the whisk and the side of the bowl.  Do not pour it over the whisk as it will not incorporate into the egg whites.  Also, make sure it is poured in slowly to prevent the syrup from sinking to the bottom of the bowl, from where it cannot be incorporated.

Beat until completely cool.

Add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time.  Do not add more butter until the preceding butter is incorporated.  When all the butter is in, add the extracts and beat to incorporate.  Continue beating until very light in texture.

Yield:  2 pounds

Note:  This scales up in direct proportion.

Finishing the Cake

Trim the sides to even them if necessary.

Undercoat the top and sides of the cake.  Refrigerate to set up.

Overcoat and finish as desired.

If you enjoyed this cake you might find these interesting as well:

Chocolate Truffle Raspberry Curd Tart
Raspberries and Cream Cake
No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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11 thoughts on “Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake

  1. kemi

    Hello Helen,
    New follower here, found your website while looking how to get get perfect layers of cakes and I am loving all the informationa.
    Below is a recipe I have been using or rather trying to adapt well. I notice that my cakes sink and reduce in height a little. Could you tell what could be the problem from the recipe.

    Also what do you think about heavy cream in cakes as a liquid plus butter? This uses the reverse creaming method.

    350 ml vanilla-infused cream, at room temperature
    285 gram cake flour or DIY Cake Flour *note
    395 gram superfine sugar ( see note )
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    pinch of salt
    170 gram unsalted butter, diced at room temperature
    6 large egg whites ( 200 gram), at room temperature

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Kemi – I honestly don’t know without trying the recipe myself. If the eggs whites are whipped and folded in that could be the problem. That seems to be a lot of baking powder for the amount of flour. Past this, I don’t know.

      1. Kemi oyekanmi

        The egg whites wasn’t whipped. It was added in towards the end to emulsify the fat and liquid.
        It was a very soft and crumbly cake. Maybe i handled it too soon not sure. I was thinking if I switch some of the cake flour with AP maybe it will help with the structure.

        Do you have a vanilla cake recipe on your blog? I am still trying to get around every post here.

        In your opinion what do you think of heavy cream in cake batter? Not whipped

        Also what is a more stable buttercream the italian or the French?

        Thank you so much

        1. hfletcher Post author

          If you switch flours, make sure they are by weight. I’ve never used heavy cream. It is liquid not a solid like butter so it won’t cream as butter will. If you make changes you have to make one at a time so you know what works or doesn’t. If you make 2 changes you don’t know if one failed and one succeeded. Both buttercreams are equally stable.

          1. Kemi

            Thank you Helen. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond. I just found your variant cake flavors from one recipe. I will give it a go. For the white cake, cam I just add whole eggs to that for a regular vanilla cake recipe?

          2. hfletcher Post author

            It has to be made as written. If you change something in a recipe, it will not come out the same. White cakes use egg whites usually.

  2. Lynette Pruett

    I had the same thought as Eileen, and plan to make this for Easter, 2021, when thanks to vaccines, we will have a small family gathering. Hooray! I’ll probably make small marzipan eggs in pastel colors to decorate the top, and may do a basketweave design the sides of the cake in the Italian buttercream to mimic an Easter basket.
    I do have a question about making multiple layers. I only have two 9×2 round pans, so is the cake batter stable if I bake two layers first, reserving the remaining half to bake in the same pans after the pans are cooled and washed? Should I refrigerate the batter between bakings?
    You mentioned the use of this cake for a groom’s cake. We got married in Texas, and had the traditional wedding cake plus groom’s cake, which was chocolate, at our reception. We’ve lived in the north for many years, and when I’ve mentioned our groom’s cake, none of my friends who grew up in the north know what I’m talking about! Our son married 33 years after we did, also in Texas, and he and his bride had a wedding cake plus groom’s cake as well. I’m glad to know that the tradition lives on, at least in the South!
    Thanks so much for the recipe; it looks like it will be outstanding. Since chocolate plus raspberry is one of my favorite combinations, I know I’ll love it!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hy Lynette. I love that combination also. You could bake the cake in two pans and then split the layers. Just add more time and test for doneness. If you prefer the 4 layers, as I do, just leave the excess batter at room temp. As soon as you can remove the other two cakes – maybe about 10 minutes cooling time – wash the two pans and add the remaining batter.
      Enjoy the cake. I know we did!

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