I’m not even going to do the calculation on this torte for nutritional value-it will be off the chart. So obviously this is a special occasion “Eat Big” recipe. I made it for Easter dinner, shared with friends. I only made a few changes from the original recipe that I found on the Food Channel website (used butter and cream instead of margarine and fake creamer; added espresso to the ganache for another layer of flavor). This is a labor of love and unless you are comfortable with baking, not a recipe I’d recommend tackling. Having said all that, it was amazing: tasty, rich, decadent, and beautiful.
If you look at the pictures in the original recipe post (below), you’ll see a solid chocolate cake. My cake turned out to be like chocolate chip cake…not sure why.
I used good quality chocolate and followed the directions to a T. There was this little voice in my head as I was mixing the chocolate into the batter “Wow, how will all this chocolate melt and make a uniform cake?” Next time, I would melt the chocolate before adding to the batter. It still tasted great and my friends said they thought it looked wonderful with the chocolate chip effect—aren’t friends great? They tell you exactly what they know you want/need to hear!
Ingredients for cake:
10 oz. butter (unsalted)
10 oz. sugar
9 eggs, separated
10 oz. semisweet chocolate, shaved on box grater or using grater attachment of food processor
10 oz (2 ¾ cups) almond meal (also called almond flour)
Ingredients for ganache (this made about 1 ½ cups more than I needed):
1 ½ pounds semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups heavy cream
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP espresso powder
Butter for greasing pan
Berries, nuts or other décor for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a half-sheet baking pan (13x18 inch) with butter and line with parchment paper.
Cream butter, sugar and egg yolks together in stand mixer with paddle blade on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add shaved chocolate and almond meal and mix on low until well distributed, then turn up to medium and mix for an additional minute.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the egg whites on medium to form soft peaks (about 3-4 minutes). Slowly and gently mix the egg whites in to the batter, 1/3 at a time, until all incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool in pan completely.
Cover a cutting board with parchment and invert the cake out on to the board. Remove the parchment from what is now the top of the cake.
Make ganache by bringing the cream and espresso powder to a gentle simmer then pouring it over the finely chopped chocolate and butter. Gently stir every few minutes until fully smooth. Allow ganache to cool for 15 minutes.
When cooled, pour 1/3 of ganache over cake and spread out evenly (don’t make it too thick). Place cake in fridge to cool completely.
Cut cake into thirds (across the narrower dimension, not the longer) and stack carefully.
Trim any ragged edges, then cut cake in half (again, across the narrower dimension). Stack the two pieces to make a cube and trim again if needed.
Drizzle and spread the ganache over the 4 sides of the cube-this is a bit messy, but just go with it. Refrigerate, carefully covered, until about 20 minutes before serving.
Decorate with berries/nuts or flowers as desired.
To serve, use a long knife (I used a carving knife) and press firmly down through the cube. You want the slices to be thick enough to hold up but not so thick that you put everyone in a food coma.
This is the most intricate dessert I’ve tackled in a while. How about you-made any “wow” desserts lately?