Chocolate Truffle Cake

Serves: 24

Preparation: 1½ hours + cooling. Cooking time: 1–1¼ hours


  • 150g Cocoa Powder
  • 400ml Boiling water
  • 250g Butter
  • 500g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 5 Eggs
  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
Butter icing
  • 20g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 150g Butter, at room temperature
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Rum or Brandy (to match flavouring in truffles)
To decorate
  • 200g White Chocolate melted
  • 300g Dark Chocolate melted
  • 26 small and 16 large Brandy Truffles


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line the base and sides of an 18cm and a 12cm  deep, square cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Put the cocoa powder into a bowl and gradually whisk in the boiling water until smooth. Leave to cool.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  5. Beat the eggs in one at a time, adding a little flour after each egg and beating well until smooth.
  6. Gradually mix in the remaining flour, baking powder and cocoa paste and beat well until smooth.
  7. Divide between the cake tins so that both are a similar depth and smooth the tops.
  8. Bake for about 45–55 minutes for the small cake and 1–1¼ hours for the larger one or until well risen, the top is crusty and firm but the centre still very slightly soft (test with a skewer).
  9. Leave to cool in the tins.
  10. To make the butter icing, mix the cocoa powder with the boiling water until you get a smooth paste then leave to cool.
  11. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth then mix in the cocoa paste and rum or brandy.
  12. Turn the cakes out of the tins, peel off the lining paper and trim the tops level if necessary.
  13. Cut each cake into three layers then sandwich back together with some of the butter icing.
  14. Spread a little butter icing on top of the larger cake, press the smaller cake on top and secure in place with long wooden skewers.
  15. Put on a flat plate or cake board. Spread the remaining butter icing over the tops and sides of the cakes.
  16. Cut four pieces of non-stick baking paper or clear acetate the same size as the sides of the larger cake, and four pieces the same as the sides of the smaller cake.
  17. Pipe the white chocolate over the paper or acetate in random squiggles and chill on a baking sheet in the fridge until hard.
  18. Spread half the dark chocolate over two small and two large pieces of paper or acetate to create a marbled effect.
  19. Press one of the small pieces on to one of the sides of the top cake so that the chocolate is touching the butter icing.
  20. Press in place then repeat on the opposite side. Do the same to the lower cake, chill until firm then carefully peel away the paper or acetate.
  21. Re-melt the remaining dark chocolate and repeat so that all the sides of the cakes are covered, trimming away any excess paper or acetate so that the sides meet but do not overlap.
  22. Arrange the smaller truffles around the base of the small cake and the larger ones in rows on the very top.

Spread a little dark chocolate on to a piece of non-stick baking paper or acetate, cut into a small rectangle leave to set, then pipe on a name, as if it's a gift card. Chill then peel away the paper and tuck the chocolate among the truffles. Clear acetate is available from good stationery shops. If you cannot find it, use non-stick baking paper instead.

This recipe is from Chocolate Success published by Simon & Schuster in 2011.