And this is the surprise ingredient I got – popping candy! Heston Blumenthal has brought popping candy back into our lives. I remember making his chocolate ganache cake a couple of years ago that has popping candy in the biscuit base. I had to go to a small local newsagents to buy sachets of it. It is also known as ‘pop rocks’ and I’ve seen it a lot more readily available recently in supermarkets. However, popping candy is very difficult to use in baking because the minute it comes into contact with any kind of moisture (i.e. cake batter, buttercream) it pops! So you can’t mix it into batters or buttercreams.
To start, I made the truffles by gently heating up Waitrose extra thick double cream. I used half the original recipe quantities as I only needed 8 truffles to top the cake, but you could double or even treble the recipe for extra truffles! I poured the warm cream into a bowl containing plain chocolate. Then I left the chocolate to melt for a few minutes, then stirred well until the cream and chocolate were fully incorporated. I refrigerated the mixture overnight.
For the truffle covering I mixed popping candy with cocoa powder. As moisture causes the popping candy to pop, I decided the cocoa powder would be an extra barrier to reduce the level of popping before the truffles were eaten.
I scooped out the mixture and rolled it between my palms, then pressed and rolled it in the popping candy and cocoa powder mixture before placing on a chopping board covered in cling film. I recommend rinsing your hands in cold water between each truffle roll. Keeping your hands clean and cold gives the best results when rolling. I put them in the fridge to firm up again. You will hear some popping!
To make the Golden Ale & Dark Chocolate Cake the recipe called for Duchy Organic Golden Ale.
I heated the ale in a pan with butter until the butter was completely melted.
In a large bowl I mixed together self raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and golden caster sugar.
In a separate bowl I beat eggs and added milk and vanilla extract.
I added the ale and butter mixture to the flour mixture and whisked well, then the egg mixture and mixed again. I poured the batter into two 9″ sandwich tins and baked them for 25 minutes.
Whilst the cake was cooling I made the buttercream by mixing butter and icing sugar. When it came together I mixed in of the ale. I also melted dark chocolate and mixed in only slightly to created a marble effect, but this was lost when I spread the buttercream on the sponge so I just drizzled some of the chocolate over the top of the cake instead.
After spreading on the buttercream and sandwiching the cakes together I placed eight of the truffles around the edges. They really gave the Golden Ale & Dark Chocolate Cake that extra wow factor!
This Golden Ale & Dark Chocolate Cake is deep, dark and delicious, with a fantastic exploding surprise! The sponge is really moist and reminded me of the Chocolate Guinness Cake I have made several times now. It went down a storm with my boyfriend and colleagues. I was very happy with it too, both in appearance and taste!
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Golden Ale & Dark Chocolate Cake with Exploding Truffles
For the truffles
- 112 g Dark chocolate
- 87 ml Double cream
- 1 heaped tbsp Cocoa powder
- Popping candy
For the cake
- 200 ml Golden ale
- 250 g Butter or baking spread
- 250 g Self raising flour
- 30 g Cocoa powder
- 300 g Golden caster sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 2 Eggs large
- 125 ml Milk
For the buttercream
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 200 g Butter or baking spread
- 25 ml Golden ale
- 50 g Dark chocolate melted
To make the truffles gently heat up the double cream. Pour the warm cream into a bowl and add the dark chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt for a few minutes and then stir well until the cream and chocolate are fully incorporated. Refrigerate the mixture overnight or for several hours until solid
Mix the popping candy with the cocoa powder
Scoop out the truffle mixture and roll it between your palms to make a ball, then roll it in the popping candy and cocoa powder mixture before placing on plate. Put them in the fridge to firm up again
Heat the Duchy golden ale in a pan with the butter until the butter is completely melted
In a large bowl I mix together the self raising flour, the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and golden caster sugar
In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk and vanilla extract
Add the ale and butter mixture to the flour mixture and whisk well, then add the egg mixture and mix again. Pour the batter into two lined sandwich tins, bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
Make the buttercream by mixing the butter and the icing sugar. When it comes together, mix in the ale and melted dark chocolate. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of the cake
Spread the buttercream on the cakes, sandwich them together and place eight of the truffles around the edge
NB. I was supplied with the ingredients to make this cake by Waitrose, all opinions are my own.