Naked cakes… There’s something aesthetically pleasing with its simplicity and to take it a just a step further, adding a small amount of garnish will be enough to impress with minimal effort.
As of late last Summer, I began to take notice of all this rave of naked cakes. My very first attempt on URBAN BAKES was actually my 1st cake post! Sidenote: hold your laughter on my lack of writing skills- had no idea what I was doing back then. This was in 2013. Funny though back at that time, I was hesitant in publishing those images because I was convinced my cake looked odd but a year later, my mind has since changed. I must have gotten used to the “odd” look up to the point I didn’t realize my last cake made (for my dogs) was also, a naked cake! You can see it here.
If you haven’t guess it or you’re left wondering why this sounds somewhat provocative, no need to worry. These cakes are dubbed “naked” for the lack of frosting around its sides. You may have also seen several with a sheer coat around its sides which give a rustic yet chic barnyard look. I happen to LOVE this style and I plan to make one of my own soon.
Aside from being less labor intensive for obvious reasons, I’d like to switch gears for a moment and focus on its peculiar texture and amazing chocolaty-nut flavor.
Even if you’re a novice baker you may begin to quickly notice the technique used in this recipe is quite different from traditional sponge cakes. Rather than using a fair amount of flour, salt, and leavening agents such as baking soda and/or baking powder, this recipe skips this detail and focuses its structure from egg whites.
As you can see in the photo below, the cut slice is rather jagged. Don’t be fooled in thinking it may have a coarse texture. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The truffle torte will appear to be dry on the exterior yet has a soft delicate crumb, with the few exceptions when biting into a chopped hazelnut. The chocolate ganache slathered between each layer help further richen its sweetness and silky smooth chocolate finish much like biting into a truffle.
This is my third time in making this recipe. If you’re looking for a change from your typical sponge cake, definitely give this one here a shot!
- 1 cup (6oz) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts (filberts), toasted, finely chopped
- 2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- whole or chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Using a baking spray with flour, generously coat the bottom and sides of 3 6-inch round pans or 2 9-inch round pans; set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and ½ cup butter, continuously stir. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in flour and 4 egg yolks until just combined.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Then add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time while until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture and 2/3 cup of hazelnuts into the egg white mixture until well blended. Evenly spread into prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes come out clean. Note: cakes will appear dry. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using a knife, gently run around the edge of the cakes to aide in removing cakes from the pan. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with filling.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 2 cups chocolate chips and ¼ cup butter; constantly stir. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in whipping cream. Refrigerate for 30 to 40, stir occasionally. Filling is ready when it becomes thick enough to mound and hold shape when dropped from a spoon.
- Spread ½ cup filling over the top of each cake layer. Gently stack each layer of cake and garnish the top-most layer with toasted hazelnuts.
If making a 2-layered, 9-inch cake, begin with a bake time of 30 minutes. Test cake with a toothpick and increase bake time for another 5 minutes if not ready.
Have you made any of my recipes? I would love to see them. Snap a pic and use the #urbanbakes on your public Instagram and Twitter.
Recipe adapted from p.147 Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cakes.