Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Truffle Cake
There are always challenges whenever you move, right? Things always pop up, like trying to figure out how to arrange the furniture, which kitchen drawers will handle which utensils, how the closet is going to get organized… things like that. If you happen to have a food-obsessed Golden Retriever, then you need to add “how far back on the counter is far enough” to the list of things to do at a new house.
I made this cake with the intention of sharing it with everyone for dessert on Sunday. I photographed it late Sunday morning, pushed it to the back of the counter on the island, and went upstairs to put Joseph down for a nap. When I came back down, the cake was in the same spot, but half of it had been decimated and there was a certain Golden Retriever (ahem, Einstein) that was huffing and puffing and looking all kinds of guilty. Needless to say, I apparently haven’t found a safe resting spot for food on the counter yet, and unfortunately, my husband and I (and Einstein, of course!) were the only two that got to taste how utterly amazing this cake is!
I saw a recipe in a recent Donna Hay magazine for a salted chocolate cake that had pretzels on top. I loved the idea, but thought, if we’re putting pretzels on top, then why not put them on the bottom, too?! I am such a sucker for the combination of sweet and salty flavors, which is why I can’t ever get enough of things like chocolate-covered pretzels or chocolate-covered popcorn.
I stole the crust recipe from one of my favorite desserts – strawberry pretzel salad – which consists of crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter. It’s a perfect base for the dark chocolate, truffle-like cake. The addition of flaky sea salt into the actual cake gives it the perfect punch of salty/sweet balance. The chocolate cake itself isn’t quite as dense as a truffle filling, but is just as smooth and creamy.
You could probably make this with semisweet chocolate if you prefer your chocolate a little bit sweeter, but I really do prefer the combination of dark chocolate and salt. This cake is such a fantastic combination of not only flavors, but also textures. If you’re a fan of sweet and salty, run into the kitchen and make this today!
(And if you have a food-obsessed Golden Retriever, make sure you push that cake far, far away from the edge of the counter!)
[I received a lot of comments asking if Einstein was okay; I’m so sorry I neglected to mention that he is absolutely fine. The dog seriously has a stomach of steel. He never even got an upset stomach… he’s very lucky!]
Four years ago: Root Beer Float Cake
Five years ago: Classic Lemonade
Six years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie-Topped Brownies
Seven years ago: Homemade Pancake Mix
Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Truffle Cake
For the Crust:
- 2 cups (160 g) finely crushed pretzels
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup (151.33 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cake:
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup (50 g) superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon
- 1 cup (80 g) mini pretzels
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until evenly moistened. Press onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and set, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Make the Cake: Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and, using a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Add the egg yolks and salt to the chocolate mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Working in three batches, gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer, and arrange the pretzels on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the edge comes out clean and the center is just set, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I gotta favorite this website it seems very useful very useful
I baked this for some guests this weekend, and it was good but it came out a little more dense than I expected. Perhaps I overbaked it? My oven tends to run a little low – so I baked for 35 minutes, got a sticky toothpick & baked for 5 more.
Mine came out looking more like a brownie cake rather than truffel. Followed all the instructions and the top ended up cracked en puffy but then collapsed in. Leaving the sides sticking up. Toothpick came out clean from the side only after 35 minutes …before that still running. Is it overbaked? Maybe itll turn more truffley once it in the fridge but i have my doubts. It’ll still taste good though!
This looks delicious!
Can I Make in a tart pan?
Also approx how many pretzels do I crush to get two cups?
Hi Mary, I don’t think a tart pan will be high enough to hold all of the filling; a springform would be best. As for the pretzels, I didn’t count them, sorry! I would start with a couple handfuls and go from there.
I made this and it was awesome! I LOVE every recipe of yours that I have tried. I was thinking, since it has no flour, if I found Gluten-free pretzels (at Aldi of course), I could do it an an option for some allergy people. What about substituting the butter for coconut oil, to make it dairy-free? Do you think this would work or do you have any other suggestions? I’d have to use vegan chocolate, too, I guess….
So glad you loved it Christy! Gluten-free pretzels would totally work, but I haven’t done any playing around with dairy alternatives and vegan chocolate, so I couldn’t speak to how well those would work. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!
Just made 2 versions – one with regular pretzels and one with GF pretzels. Also added a thin layer of salted caramel between crust and cake. Looking forward to eating tomorrow in celebration of a coworker’s birthday.
I made this for my cousin’s baby shower and I was little nervous at first because I am not a big baker. It took a little longer than I expected to cook (that might just be my oven) but when I set it out with the other desserts at the shower I couldn’t believe how fast it disappeared! Everyone was raving about how delicious it was and asking me for the recipe. The thing I did differently was I used half dark chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate. The only thing I wish I had known as a novice baker was to put a cookie sheet underneath my spring pan because a lot of the butter fell down into my oven and ended up catching on fire…luckily no real damage done but still a little scary. All in all I can’t wait to make this again!!
Just put this in the oven and realized I forgot to put the butter in with the melted chocolate! F*&(*@# … I hope it comes out okay!
My 2 dogs (one a golden) once ate a whole box (30 of them, foil and all!) of large chocolate bars that my son was supposed to sell for school. They made it through ok, but I had quite the messes to clean up for a few days, if you know what I mean…
Mmmm… pour some melty peanut butter and caramel sauce on top and you seriously have perfection! I’m definitely trying this soon… my sweet tooth thanks you! ;)
This looks amazing. I love the combination of chocolate and pretzels also, and the photos are great. Except, we need more Einstein photos! I’m glad he’s okay.
This looks completely amazing. I probably would have cried if mine had been eaten by a dog.
Well, now you can say it is “Einstein Approved!” For all of you girls who are worried about the chocolate, my 10 year old black lab/aussie shepherd mix ate a WHOLE BAG of Hershey’s Kisses – pure chocolate, wrappers and all.
I called the vet FRANTIC. He said that she had already metabolized them (about 2 hours earlier) was a big dog and would do fine, that the thing he was worried about was the aluminum wrappers! So we were instructed to force her to drink Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting, which it did. Up came all the wrappers – and she lived a long life after that! Einstein’s size is his saving grace – as well as his curse that made him tall enough to get the cake in the first place!
My Labrador, when still a pup, chewed my backpack and found, inside, a brand new box of chocolate covered liqueurs. He literally ate half the box (wrappers, chocolates, box and all) and by morning, he acted as if nothing happened. I had no idea chocolate’s bad for dogs until I mentioned the incident to my in laws. They suddenly thought Titan was dead or violently ill. Drunk maybe but no signs of him being phased by any of it. I blame his stomach of steel on uncertain genetic background and his cow stature (my cousin nicknamed him that since he’s bigger and bulkier than her lab/Great Dane mix).
I am glad Einstein is ok. Your cake looks incredible. When I was young we had. German Shepherd. My mother was an excellent baker and before running us kids around after school left 5 or 6 home made cookies on the counter for my dad who would come in famished. Our dog was smart and ate only half but she was still ratted out when my dad commented he would have liked a few more!
What a lovely idea. I love sweet and salty combo, but never thought about combining pretzels and chocolate. The taste must be heavenly, but the texture sounds interesting as well.
That cake looks gorgeous, and the sweet & salty flavor combo looks A-amazing!
Oh, dear. And it looks SO amazing, too! Maybe inside the microwave would be a safe place? Glad Einstein is okay, anyway.
I love sweet and salty combinations. This looks decadent and delicious!
I think we all get that Einstein is completely ok and what you said in the email newsletter was merely an advisory. Maybe next time, you could mention he’s ok cause I’m amazed at the amount of over the top panic (and improper perception that you’re a bad Mommy to Einstein – cause I’m SURE you’re NOT!!!).
Now on to the immediate gut reaction to the photo of this amazing cake…. my brain switched to drool-mode and I’m going to make this my next project. Gorgeous.
This is so far up my alley I should be living in it. Oh my word I need this.
Einstein…..well maybe he should finish writing the blog for you! Maybe try the top of the fridge as a safe location! I do love this salty/sweet combination. Looks great…and not just for dogs!
This looks like a delicious masterpiece!! I can not wait to have an opportunity to make it . . . perhaps I need to create an occasion just to make this cake :) We had a Golden/Lab mix that got into EVERYthing within reach on the kitchen island & countertops. She devoured more chocolate and bread (she loved her carbs ;) ) than any person I know and never once had a problem. She lived a wonderful 13 years. I bet Einstein was licking his lips in pure enjoyment. Thanks for this fantastic recipe. I LOVE pretzels and chocolate (Sarris??? YUM!).
Sweet and salty! Yum!
I will share, when my ex-husband and I had our black lab he was food obsessed too. We had company over one night, and I had made a huge pot roast dinner. The roast was 9 pounds of meat. Our guests had arrived and everything was ready down to the gravy and mashed potatoes, and all pushed back as far as they would on the counter. From the kitchen was a HUGE clang. I knew before I went in that Cody, the black lab, had demolished the entire roast. He got in the house because my ex didn’t shut the back door. I was mortified. He had jumped on the kitchen table then leaped onto the counter. I had no roast and everything else was on the floor. Pizza was ordered and all was ok, but I was not happy with that dog. Yes, he got horribly sick with all that meat in his gluttonous belly. I feel for you, and sometimes, there is no spot far enough back to be safe. :)
This cake looks amazing! Just one question… is there any way to incorporate peanut butter into this creation!?!? Or… what would be the best way, do you think? I am a chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel junkie and must know so that I can make it as soon as I get home!
Thanks, once again, for the recipe :)
Hi Amy, You could top with a peanut butter frosting! Or maybe a peanut butter glaze between the crust and filling? Tons of options!
I know two chocolate Labrador retrievers who are also food obsessed. I had no idea they liked corn on the cob…Thanks for my morning chuckle.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Please, please, PLEASE keep all chocolate away from your pooches! That being said, if I had eaten that cake, I would die too… from ECSTASY!!!
Obviously, I thought that the cake was far enough away at the back of the counter that there was no way he could reach it.
I’ve always loved chocolate covered pretzels, but you’ve really stepped them up a notch now! Can’t wait to try, it looks great!
Do you have a picture of the dog eaten cake? :D
This cake looks great, but is Einstein okay? I heard chocolate is poisonous for dogs and he ate a lot of it.
This looks really amazing, and I’m not even a chocolate lover! Sorry about it getting eaten by the pup though – hopefully he wasn’t sick!
I have a food obsessed dog as well (border collie) and the only solution we have found is to store food that would normally go on the counter in the microwave and oven (turned off of course). He hasn’t figured out how to open those doors…yet.
Is Einstein ok-with eating all the chocolate? Sorry! :(
Just love the combination of sweet and salty, chocolate and pretzels go so well together!!
What percent dark chocolate are you using here? 60%? 72%?
Hi Diane, 60%!
Whoa, this cake looks insanely tasty!! I love the flavour!
Keep an eye on him.
I love that sweet and salty combination too! This looks awesome!
I’ve followed you for long and everytime I wonder how delicious your dishes look! So perfect!
What a SHOWSTOPPER!!! I’d love to have a huge slice! The salty and sweet, and wow just wow….pinned!!
You always nail those sweet and salty recipes. Bringing this to my next family gathering. Your dog story reminds me when my wife was in charge of all the pies for Thanksgiving and we stopped (with 2 dachshunds in tow) and the pies had foot prints on top of them!!!!