Monday, April 22, 2013

Chocolate Truffle Cake

I’m writing about Chef Naomi Pomeroy’s Chocolate Truffle Cake separately from the other recipes by Portland-area James Beard Award nominees because: 1) it’s amazing, and 2) it was my DIY birthday cake for this year.

I’d never made a flourless chocolate cake before, but after making this one, which is quite easy, It’s hard to imagine I’d need a different recipe. The texture was superb: smooth but firm, like a thick custard that’s somehow hardened. With all that dark chocolate (six and a half bars of Ghirardelli bittersweet), the flavor was pretty amazing too. Although it may seem strange to put mushroom flavor in a chocolate cake, the truffle salt provided a subtle savory note that nicely balanced with the cake’s sweetness.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, from The Oregonian Cookbook

1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
18 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp. plus a pinch of truffle salt (may substitute sea salt)
6 eggs

1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Make the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment. Wrap outside the pan’s bottom and sides in three layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs and 1 tsp. truffle salt to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well-blended. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place cake pan in a large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

4. Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan. Sprinkle top of cake with a pinch of truffle salt.

Make ganache:
1. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour ganache over top of cooled cake still in the pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours. The cake can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

2. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.


  1. Utter perfection.

  2. Thanks! I love how decadent this cake is.

  3. OMG sweet baby Jesus, that sounds amazing!!!

    1. Ha! It IS really good. This is a recipe from chef Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland. I haven't been, but I've heard it's excellent.