DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CAKE – AN INTENSE CHOCOLATE TORTE

Sep 18th

By far the most requested of all the cakes that I bake this seems to be everybody’s favourite, be they very young or ancient. It is suddenly enjoying a bit of the limelight again thanx to my friend Nina from My Easy Cooking who requested a recipe on twitter a few days ago and I passed mine on to her. She was delighted with how it turned out and today I met the lady who’s birthday it was and who was the incredibly happy recipient of this stunning cake…..it went down a treat we were told!

Photo courtesy of Nina Timm My Easy Cooking

 Note: The recipe is flourless so should therefore suit wheat intolerant individuals and will fit into a gluten-free diet

My favourite way of eating this intense chocolate cake is simply with a dusting of icing sugar, a drizzle of raspberry coulis & a dollop of crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream

Do also note that that the texture and flavour intensifies and settles with time so plan to prepare and bake this cake 24 hours prior to consuming. It loves spending the night chilling in the fridge!! :)

COLLEEN’S INTENSE CHOCOLATE TORTE (DEATH BY CHOCOLATE)

Ingredients:

100g Lindt Dark Chocolate (82%) – use 70% for a slightly sweeter version

100g Lindt Milk Chocolate – or if you want it really rich and dark use the full 200g dark )

200g Lurpak Unsalted Butter

250g Granulated Sugar

6 Jumbo Eggs – separated into 2 bowls

2 Tbs Finely Ground Almonds – I like to roast then grind the nuts – I put a little bit of castor sugar into the grinder with the nuts. It works well at grinding them finer…

1 Tbs Brandy, Cointreau or Van der Hum  (optional but delicious)

Pinch Salt

¼ tsp Cream of Tartar

¼ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Zest of ½ Orange

Juice of 1 Orange

 

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 1800C
  • Butter the sides and the base of a deep 23cm diameter cake pan. Line with parchment paper and brush this with soft butter as well
  • Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into small cubes
  • Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave on 20% power for  1-2 minutes, stirring every minute to combine. Set aside to cool a bit
  • Add ½ the sugar and salt to the egg yolks and beat until warm, pale, thick and trebled in size. Don’t shortcut this stage, you need as much air in the batter as you can get
  • Gently stir in the orange zest, alcohol, juice and vanilla extract
  • Add the melted chocolate-butter mixture to the eggs and blend in evenly
  • Sprinkle the almond flour over the batter and fold in.
  • Beat the egg whites till foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and beat till stiff peaks form
  • Fold ¼ of the whites into the chocolate batter and incorporate then add the rest and fold in very gently so as not to lose any of the air
  • Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for 35 – 45 minutes until the centre of the cake barely trembles when the pan is shaken and the top is set, shiny and a bit crackly-looking
  • Run a hot knife around the cake to loosen from sides of pan, leave in pan on a cooling rack  to cool completely then cover pan well with cling film and refrigerate overnight
  • Remove from fridge at least an hour (2 hours is better)  before serving at room temperature
  • Warm the bottom of the pan briefly over medium flame, shake to loosen the cake then turn the cake out of the pan then invert back onto a plate lined with fresh wax paper so top of cake is uppermost
  • Dredge the entire top surface of the cake with a thick layer of sifted icing sugar
  • Serve in wedges with a raspberry coulis or passion fruit/lemon curd drizzled onto the plate, fresh raspberries for garnish & a dollop of crème fraîche or a ball of good vanilla ice cream.

You can also frost this cake with chocolate ganache for special occasions. I love the rustic simplicity of it served as above but some people do prefer a birthday cake with frosting or icing

Chocolate Ganache

200g Dark Chocolate

125ml Fresh Cream

1 Tbs Unsalted Butter

1 Tbs Brandy or Liqueur – very optional but delicious

  • Chop the chocolate very finely & place in a clean dry bowl
  • Heat cream, liqueur & butter over medium heat until little bubbles start forming around the sides of the saucepan – do not allow it to boil!!
  • Quickly pour all the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl & leave to stand for a few minutes
  • Stir well then leave to stand a few more minutes until all the chocolate has melted, stir until smoothly blended
  • Allow to cool to room temperature
  • Place the chilled cake on a board exactly the same size as the cake. Place on a wire rack over a tray, pour some of the ganache onto the cake. Quickly spread it around with a spatula to cover the cake in a smooth thin layer (this is called a crumb coat) Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow it to set
  • Pour the rest of the chocolate into the centre of the cake & working quickly, using a long spatula & with wide strokes smooth the rest of the chocolate over the cake. (If you prefer you can just tilt the cake in different directions allowing the ganache to cover the top and run down the sides of the cake) Remove from rack onto a serving plate & allow to set before decorating & serving as desired (the chocolate that has dripped into the tray can be put through a strainer to remove any cake crumbs and refrigerated for further use – making truffles comes to mind :o ) or you can whip it and pipe rosettes onto your cake)If you want to frost your cake with whipped ganache then place the bowl of melted creamy chocolate over a bowl of water with ice cubes & start whisking – either with a wire whisk if you have strong arms and wrists or use a handheld beater like I do :)
  • Once the ganache starts thickening and is whipped to a spreading or piping consistency you need to work fairly fast to frost your cake as it hardens up quickly. If you overbeat it, it will become grainy.

Apologies if the photos aren’t aligned…I’m battling with it and its late so am leaving it as is now. Just some examples of the versatility of ganache…..

Enjoy,

browniegirl xx 

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