Chocolate Cakes: Truffle Cake

This tower of truffles is inspired by the croquembouche, the traditional French wedding cake. The chocolates are rolled in assorted cocoa powders from the United States, France, and Holland, offering nuances of color and flavor. Beneath them are layers of yellow cake that are filled and frosted with a dense, dark ganache.

  • Servings: 115

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2001

Ingredients

  • 2 each 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-, and 10-inch-diameter round yellow cake layers, each 1 3/4 inches high
  • 1 each 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9-, and 10-inch-diameter round of 3/16-inch foam board
  • 7 recipes Whipped Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 1/2 recipes Chocolate Truffles
  • 33 4-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
  • 1 sturdy cake plate or decorated board, at least 12 inches in diameter

Directions

  1. Prepare the tiers: Set one of each size cake layer on corresponding-size foam board, and then set foam board on a larger cardboard round. The cardboard round will help you work without disturbing decorations. Spread tops of layers with ganache, and add second same-size layer; the final height for each tier should be 4 inches. Coat each tier with thin layer of ganache to seal in crumbs.

  2. Remove truffles from refrigerator; cut in half. Set on sheet pans in a cool area.

  3. Prepare one tier at a time: Using small offset spatula, frost tier with ganache. Attach flat side of truffle halves to ganache, completely covering side of the tier and alternating cocoa varieties. Repeat with remaining tiers. On 4-inch tier, cover top with halved truffles.

  4. Insert the dowels: In center of 10-inch tier, insert the 8 dowels in a circle 1 inch from edge; in 9-inch tier, insert 7 dowels; 8-inch tier, 6 dowels; 7-inch tier, 5 dowels; 6-inch tier, 4 dowels. In the 5-inch tier, place 3 dowels in a 3-inch triangle.

  5. Stack the tiers: At the reception site, remove cardboard round from under the 10-inch tier; set tier on its plate or cake board on display table. Remove round from under 9-inch tier; place tier, centered, on 10-inch tier. Repeat until all tiers have been stacked.

Cook's Notes

Once it is assembled, store this cake in a cool room -- preferably one that is air-conditioned. Refrigeration may produce condensation, affecting the appearance of the cocoa powders.

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