Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chocolate Torte Dressed in Berries

CAKE! That would be a moist, dense chocolate cake with yummy strawberries covered in a rich ganache. I've been wanting to make this recipe ever since seeing it in The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook (a word of warning here, since this is a family-friendly blog: this book contains tasteful photographs of people wearing food. I wouldn't call it nudity, as their relevant bits are covered up, but the pictures are consistent with the book's overall theme).

This recipe is for a flourless cake, so it's already gluten free, and I didn't bother to try and sub out the sugar because it's been a while since I've made something like this. A wee bit of butter and sugar from time to time is fine, in moderation of course. We all need our guilty pleasures.

For the Chocolate Torte:

1 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Since I still don't HAVE a springform pan (any bakeware companies that want to send me one to review please feel free!) I used my 11-inch loose-bottomed tart pan.

Combine almonds and cocoa powder in small bowl. Place butter and sugars in mixer bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs (one at a time) and add vanilla.

Fold in almond-cocoa mixture and strawberries.


Spread into pan and bake about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. It might be a good idea to put the cake pan on a cookie sheet, just in case there's any seepage.

Cool completely and remove sides of pan. Mine got a bit messed up around the edges from where the cake stuck to some areas of the tart ring, but that's easily covered up.

This cake is VERY moist and likely to fall apart, so leave it on the pan base and place it on a serving plate. Spread the top with the strawberry preserves.

Now, for the ganache topping you'll need:

1/4 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk because I need it to be dairy free)
6 ounces high quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 60%)

Bring cream/coconut milk just to boiling in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Pour ganache onto cake and spread over top. I had enough to also ice the sides, thereby covering up the tattered edges.

Decorate with strawberry slices and mint sprigs (which I didn't have, so I didn't use). Chill until serving.

Here's what it looks like on the inside. It's very moist. chocolaty, and gooey. A super easy recipe that's delicious. How awesome.

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