Chocolate Torte with Ganache and Strawberries

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Last week Tom casually mentioned that in high school he had made a chocolate torte for French class. I knew that translated to 'Honey, please find a chocolate torte recipe.' So I went off to google and found this recipe.

Fair warning, this cake is pretty time consuming if you want to include the ganache. As in make the cake early in the day if you want to eat some of it later that night.

Chocolate Torte with Ganache and Strawberries
Source: Joy of Baking
Yield: 1 cake
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Ingredients for the torte:
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 6 large eggs, divided
    • 9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup sugar, divided
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Directions:
1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Spray a 9x3 springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
2. While the eggs are still cold, separate them to have yolks in one bowl and whites in another bowl. Let them come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (I used this time to chop up the chocolate.)
3. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in the bottom pan of a double boiler. Once boiling, add the butter pieces and chocolate to the top pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate have melted. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes. The eggs will be lemon colored, increased in volume and if you lift the beater, they will fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.
5. Beat in the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate mixture. If you only have one mixer bowl, transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and clean out your mixer bowl.
6. Add the egg whites to the stand mixer bowl and beat on high until the egg whites are foamy. Add the cream of tarter and continue beating until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat on high speed until stuff peaks form.
7. Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in a large scoopful at a time until it is all combined. The mixture will look like a very pale chocolate mousse.
8. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Remove the cake from the oven (It will be cracked and crumbly) and cool on a wire rack. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, remove from the rack and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

For the Strawberries:
1. Rinse and hull 6 medium strawberries. Cut into slices.
2. Place the strawberries into a small bowl.
3. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar
4. Place the lid on the bowl and shake the strawberries around, distributing the sugar. Refrigerate until you're ready for them.

Ingredients for the ganache:
    • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tbs. unsalted butter
Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream and butter over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
2. In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, add the chocolate pieces.
3. Pour the whipping cream and butter mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.

To Assemble the Torte:
1. Remove the torte from the fridge. Place a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. Flip the cake over (upside down) and release the springs on the pan. Remove the pan and the bottom gently.
2. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread with a rubber spatula, getting the sides of the cake.
3. Remove the strawberries from the fridge and place the sliced strawberries on the cake.
4. If serving immediately, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
5. Store in the refrigerator.

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