Friday, December 31, 2021


Ease of preparation is something that I like to point out as the core of my recipes, as I very well remember how appreciative I was of that when I was starting out. And this is the perfect example of a straightforward, tried and tested recipe.
Three layers of chocolate and vanilla cakes and two layers of absolute truffle bliss. A simple, humble, yet rewarding treat, ideal for celebrating new beginnings and joyous gatherings.
When it comes to fillings, ganache is one of my favourites, if not the dearest one. Partly due to sentimental reasons, as that was the first one I have ever made, but for the most part, because it is so versatile and adaptable, not to mention incredibly easy to make.
And even easier to turn into a wonderful truffle filling. The simple combination of dark chocolate and cream, whipped into a gorgeous, dense truffle cream that simply melts on every bite. Sheer perfection for any cake.

For the marble cake layers
300 millilitres soy milk
1 ½ teaspoons vinegar 75 millilitres oil
small pinch of salt
250 grams plain flour
15 grams cornflour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
250 grams light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
15 millilitres hot water
For the chocolate truffle filling
200 millilitres plant double cream
80 grams extra dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the decoration
100 millilitres plant double cream
10 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Start by making the chocolate truffle filling, as it needs to be chilled before whipping. Melt the dark chocolate and the plant double cream over very low heat, or in the microwave, until smooth and combined. Set it aside until it is cool to the touch, and then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
To make the cake layers, combine the soy milk, vinegar, salt, and oil in a medium bowl. Whisk it very well, and set it aside for about 15 minutes. The milk will somewhat curdle, resembling dairy buttermilk.
Take a separate large bowl, sift in the plain flour, cornflour, baking powder, and baking soda, and whisk them very well together. Add in the sugar, and whisk again. Pour in the soy milk and vinegar mixture over the dry ingredients, add in the vanilla, and mix until combined. It is fine if the batter has some dry patches of flour at this point.
In a small bowl, whisk together the unsweetened cocoa powder with the hot water. Transfer less than half of the batter to a separate bowl, add in the dissolved cocoa, and mix well.
Line three small round cake pans (16 cm) with baking parchment, and pour in both batters into each. Swirl the batter together, creating the marble effect. You can be as intricate or as casual as you wish, it will be beautiful either way.

Tap the pans on the counter to pop any air bubbles, and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 10-15 minutes. As ovens bake differently, make sure you check them for doneness early on, either by inserting a toothpick into the centre or by carefully, lightly touching the surface, to see if it springs back. Once baked, let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then remove them to wire racks to cool down completely.
When the cakes are cool and ready, proceed to whip up the mousse filling. Take out the chilled cream mixture out of the refrigerator, and start mixing with an electric mixer on medium, for about 30 seconds. It will start resembling softly whipped cream at this point. Turn up the mixer speed to high, and whip until firm peaks form.
Level the cake layers if desired, and place the first one on the cake platter. Place a cake ring around the first layer, line it with a sheet of acetate, and tighten it. Carefully spread half of the truffle filling, and top it with the second layer. Spread the rest of the truffle filling on it, and top it with the final layer. Cover the top with a peace of baking parchment, and place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
When the cake is chilled and ready, proceed with the decoration. Whip the plant double cream until soft peaks form, add in the vanilla, and whip until firm peaks form. Divide the cream into two parts, it does not have to be precise, and sift the cocoa powder into one. Whip until stiff peaks form. Alternating between the vanilla and cocoa cream, cover the top and the sides of the cake. Serve immediately. Yields 16 servings. © Tina Vesić 2021