Chocolate Torte

I know the other food bloggers out there can relate:  You get your latest issue of “X” food magazine in the mail, you either set aside and wait to do a full and devoted sit-down dissection of it at a time when you know that you can truly enjoy it, or you simply devour it right then and there.  I am this way with several of my food magazines, and I know that many of you out there are the same.  It’s like getting a present in the mail, right?

And, when I DO sit down to actually read the issue from cover to cover, there are always recipes that I bookmark, think about, or put in a to-try list somewhere.  But, it is always exciting to me when I find a recipe that wakes in me a great urgency to make the food right then and there.  It’s like a child opening a birthday present.  I get so excited, so pumped up, and *bonus* excited if I happen to have all the ingredients on hand.  Well, it was this way with this recipe from the November/December issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  I had everything I needed-except for the fresh raspberries, but, believe me, they were worth the extra trip to the produce section at the grocery store.

So, what can I tell you about this chocolate torte?  Boyfriend replacement material?  Yes.  Fudgy and cake-like at the same time?  Yes. Smooth and enticing on the outside?  Yes.  First, there’s the chocolate ganache.  Then, toasted sliced almonds (I’m a big fan.)  And then, besides the rich cake part with the raspberry filling?  There’s those lovely, almost royal raspberries adorning the surface.  Love.  Love.  Love.

Chocolate Torte

Servings: 1 9-inch cake or 12-14 servings

Ingredients

For the cake and filling:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (or just use bittersweet chocolate chips)

12 tablespoon (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 and 3/4 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt

5 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh raspberries, plus 16 individual berries for garnishing cake

1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

For the chocolate ganache:

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Instructions

1. For the cake: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 325 degrees.

2. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans with parchment paper.

3. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

4.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

5.  Stir in vanilla and espresso powder.

6.  Process 3/4 cup almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped, six to eight 1-second pulses; set aside to garnish cake.

7.  Process remaining cup almonds until very finely ground, about 45 seconds.

8. Add flour and salt and continue to process until combined, about 15 seconds.

9. Transfer almond-flour mixture to medium bowl.

10. Process eggs in now-empty food processor until lightened in color and almost doubled in volume, about 3 minutes.

11. With processor running, slowly add sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.

12. Using whisk, gently fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture until some streaks of egg remain.

13. Sprinkle half almond-flour mixture over chocolate-egg mixture and gently whisk until just combined.

14. Sprinkle in remaining almond-flour mixture and gently whisk until just combined.

15.  Divide batter between cake pans and smooth with rubber spatula.

16.  Bake until center is firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 14 to 16 minutes.

17. Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes.

18. Run paring knife around sides of cakes to loosen.

19. Invert cakes onto wire racks.  ***Cook’s Illustrated recommends using cardboard rounds to help support the cake.  I did not use these, and felt my cakes turned out nice and even.

20.  For the filling: Place 1/2 cup raspberries in medium bowl and coarsely mash with a fork.

21. Stir in raspberry jam until just combined.

22.  Spread raspberry mixture onto one cake layer top.

23.  Top the bottom cake layer with the top cake layer to assemble.

24.  For the ganache: Melt chocolate and cream in medium heatproof bowl set over medium saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

25.  Remove from heat and gently whisk until very smooth.

26. Pour glaze onto center of assembled cake.

27. Use offset spatula to spread glaze evenly over top of cake, letting it flow down sides.

28. Spread glaze along sides of cake to coat evenly.

29.  Using a fine mesh strainer, sift reserved almonds to remove any fine bits.

30.  Gently press sifted almonds onto cake sides with one hand.

31.  Arrange raspberries around cake circumference.

32.  Refrigerate cake, still on rack, until glaze is set, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Source:  November/December issue of Cook’s Illustrated.

And here’s yet another link here to enter the free giveaway for this cookbook:

December 23, 2010 - 8:07 am

Lauren at KeepItSweet - this looks incredible! i can totally see how it can be an anything replacement:-)

December 23, 2010 - 9:53 am

Tiffany @ Conor & Bella - Wow, that looks lovely! Chocolate and raspberry go so well together.

December 23, 2010 - 10:18 am

Josie - Gorgeous!!

December 23, 2010 - 1:31 pm

Ashley - It looks just like the picture in the magazine! I wanted to try this too when I saw it, but you beat me to it.

December 23, 2010 - 1:43 pm

wizzythestick - I know exactly what you mean about the excitement of getting a new food magazine or recipe book. I can understand why this recipe shouted at you above all others to be made. Gorgeous

December 25, 2010 - 9:30 pm

shana - Your recipe looked amazing! I didn’t have as much luck with it though. I had to use unsweetened baking cocoa and lard because we are dairy/soy free. I tried to compensate with more sugar, but the torte came out a little dry. Is it supposed to be more sweet? The ganache also wasn’t moist/melt in your mouth/sugar rush that I’m used to. Any thoughts?

December 26, 2010 - 11:11 am

srlacy - Hi Shana-

Hmmm, I don’t know what to tell you. Any time there’s a substitution in the recipe, it probably affects the overall taste. When I made it, I didn’t find it dry at all. There is a lot of bittersweet flavor to it, so it’s definitely not meant to be a milk chocolate type of flavor. Mine was more of a deep, almost dark chocolate type of flavor. How did you make the ganache (I’m assuming you didn’t use cream for it?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Shanon

December 26, 2010 - 9:16 pm

Claire - Spa night at home + girly movie + this chocolate torte = divine :)

December 26, 2010 - 9:54 pm

srlacy - Claire-I completely agree!!! :)

December 28, 2010 - 11:52 am

Erika Beth - Mmm! This looks really good. Maybe I should make it soon to replace the boyfriend I just dumped. o:)

February 7, 2013 - 3:43 pm

cake maker - WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for
chocolate cake collection hand

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