Cranberry Chocolate Truffle Cake

Course: Dessert
Dessert Type: Cake
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 565 kcal
Author: Elizabeth LaBau

This Cranberry Chocolate Truffle Cake is a nice change from the typical cranberry desserts. In this cake,  tart cranberries are paired with a dark fudgey chocolate cake and topped with shiny chocolate glaze. Serve this one at Thanksgiving or any time you have a cranberry craving. 

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Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter 1/2 cup, cubed
  • 6 large eggs separated, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar divided use
  • 8 oz whole berry cranberry sauce 3/4 cup, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Cranberry Jelly:

  • 12 oz cranberries fresh or defrosted from frozen
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Chocolate Glaze:

Instructions

To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom, or a 9-inch springform pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter together in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
  3. Combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a large mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. (Alternately, you can use a mixing bowl and a hand mixer with whisk attachments.) Whip the yolks and sugar until they’re thick, a light yellow color, and drip from the whisk in a thick ribbon when you pull it up out of the yolks.
  4. Fold the yolks into the lukewarm chocolate, and gently stir until most of the streaks are gone. Add the cranberry sauce, flour, vanilla extract, and salt, and carefully fold them in.
  5. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk you used for the yolks, and place the egg whites in the bowl. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the whites hold firm peaks and have the texture of shaving cream.
  6. Fold the whites into the chocolate in three batches. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 32-35 minutes, until puffed, dry on top, and there are small cracks along the sides.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely at room temperature. The cake can be made several days in advance and kept, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

To Make the Cranberry Jelly:

  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook the berries, stirring occasionally, until they all “pop” and you have a thick, bubbling mixture. Pour the berries through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the skins to force all of the liquid through the strainer. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the jelly, and cool to room temperature. Jelly can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To Make the Chocolate Glaze and Assemble:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl, and put the cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer, and when it’s almost boiling, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute to soften the chocolate. Whisk gently until the chocolate melts and the glaze is shiny and smooth. Make this right before you’re ready to glaze the cake.
  2. To assemble the cake, use a spoon to scoop out about a half-inch of the top of the cake, leaving a thin border around the sides, where the cranberry jelly will go. (If your cake has collapsed during the baking process, this is the one time when that isn’t a bad thing! Instead of scooping out a hole, and you can just put the jelly in the sunken area on top.) If the jelly has been chilled, stir it briefly and then spoon it into the cavity on top of the cake, smoothing it into an even layer.
  3. Place the cake on a cardboard round the size of the cake, then put it on a wire rack. Pour the hot glaze over the cake, using a spatula to spread it to the edge and push it down to coat the sides. Let the cake set at room temperature for several minutes before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill completely. Decorate with chocolate leaves, chocolate curls, cranberries, and/or whipped cream.
  4. This cake is very rich, so it’s best enjoyed in small slices. Use a large sharp chef’s knife to cut it in slices, and for the cleanest cuts, wash the blade with hot water between cuts.
  5. Store Cranberry Chocolate Truffle Cake well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

To save on time, you can substitute your favorite store-bought cranberry jelly for the homemade version, if you’d like.