Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte for Mother’s Day at Denise’s house?  Not this year, but the memories are still vivid.

This is a post from Mother’s Day last year. It was such a hectic weekend of fun with family this year that I ran out of time to get something accomplished for my foodie post this week. I was so proud of this cake that I think it deserves a double-take.

The only disappointment is that I don’t have a big piece of this right now…. the picture will have to do.

First of all, let me confess that while I love to cook and bake, I am messy and sometimes frantic! I had never made a torte or ganache before (gasp!) so I was a little nervous although the worse-case scenario was something chocolate – even if it looked terrible!

This recipe came from the Joy of Baking website.  I chose it because it included a video which was much needed because I would have looked at the baked torte and thought I’d ruined it. Come to find out, it was suppose to be a little sunken in the middle and a little broken and wacky on the edges.

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Who doesn’t love fresh, creamy butter with rich dark chocolate?  I can almost smell this picture! Join me in a moment of silence.  Haha.

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Beating eggs for torte

I always bake and cook with my iPhone in one hand so I can snap weird pictures (that no one else might) of things like the lovely yolks of 6 large eggs beaten until they are thick and lemon-colored.  Success!

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I made this torte for Mother’s Day.  It was a gift to myself!!  Here you see lovely little tulips and a heather plant from my children.  I loved how the colors looked against the rich, dark chocolate (that I wish I was eating right now!)

If you haven’t had the courage to tackle this, don’t be afraid.  It took time, caused a little panic and the kitchen was a mess!  But all in all, it was fun and now I check that one off my list.  And my family?  Let’s just say they were duly impressed.

Here is the recipe of The Joy of Baking:

Chocolate Torte:

6 large eggs, separated
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
9 ounces (255 grams)semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9 x 3 inch (23 x 8 cm) spring form pan or spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Separate the eggs while still cold, placing the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another bowl. Cover both with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.

Place egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer (can also use a hand mixer). Beat on medium high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 3-5 minutes. (The eggs should have tripled in volume, look thick and soft, and when you lift the beater the mixture falls back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.) Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture.

In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, fold a small amount of whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites, folding just until incorporated. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate.

Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake the cake for about 50 -60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. (During baking the surface of the cake will form a crust which will collapse when the cake is removed from the oven.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. The top of the cake will have become hard with a cracked surface and lots of crumbs.

*Oven’s vary so much – I baked my cake about 45 minutes and it was fine – just use the toothpick method as described.  

Ganache

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon or brandy (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.

Assemble: Remove torte from refrigerator and brush any loose crumbs from the cake. Place on a wire rack, top of the cake facing down (so now the bottom of the cake is facing up). Put the wire rack on a baking sheet. In this way if the chocolate ganache drips it will fall on the baking sheet, which makes clean up easier. Pour the ganache into the center of the cake. Spread the ganache with a spatula, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake, to create an even coating. If there are any bare spots on the sides of cake, cover with ganache. If there is leftover ganache, strain to remove crumbs, and with a hand mixer or whisk, beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate cake.

The Joy of Caking pipes little ganache roses around her cake.  I like the idea of adding a little color thus the strawberries and the basil leaves. 

The cake is best served the next day as it allows the flavors to blend..Cut the cake in small slices with a sharp knife, wiping off the knife after slicing each piece. If you have problems cutting the slices, warm the blade of the knife under hot running water before cutting each slice.

Serves 10 to 12

Read more at The Joy of Baking 

Best wishes and hugs for great success!

~ Denise

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4 Responses to Chocolate Torte for Mother’s Day

  1. Amy says:

    It’s a work of art, Denise! You should frame that pic with the tulips, and hang it in your kitchen! The cake looks scrumptious, and I’d give anything to take a swim in that bowl of chocolate.

    • Thanks Amy. I’ll sell you the picture and also the picture of the bowl of chocolate and also I will send you a chocolate bar with it and maybe that will be good enough. How much are you willing to pay?
      haha! nothing? I don’t blame you.
      thanks for coming by.

  2. Such a stunner of a cake, I really want to try it! Looks as delicious as it did beautiful!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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