February 13, 2011

Chocolate Almond Torte

Happy Valentine's Day y'all. This torte is about as much celebrating as I'll be doing this holiday since I've got a date tomorrow night with the rest of my finance class. Not to mention my significant other is about 10,000 miles away(just for fun, type in San Francisco, CA to Melbourne, VIC and look at #30). Luckily the Kiwi just got his visa into the country for the next 4 years and that was celebrated in excess just last week(remember that tequila? I don't.)
Just jokes! But back to the torte...which is basically a fancy word for a cake made with ground nuts instead of flour. It was love at first bite. Dense, chewy insides, crispy souffle exterior, chocolate-almond-orange goodness. It was also a good excuse for me to use these adorable new plates I got from my aunt and uncle during the holidays. Thanks guys! 

Chocolate-Almond Torte from Food Network Magazine
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate(use something dark), chopped
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated, plus 3 egg yolks
grated zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup almond meal or flour(found at Trader Joe's or make your own)
Confectioner's sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl(ie metal or glass) set over a sauce pan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Stir until the chocolate is melted then remove from heat. 
 Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with butter then coat with 1 tablespoon flour, tapping out the excess. 
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Combine the 6 egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment(or a hand mixer). Beat on medium-high until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. 
Add the orange zest, rum and salt, then beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth. Mix in the ground almonds until just combined.
 In a clean bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with a mixer until foamy. Gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar on high speed until almost stiff. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, then gently fold in the rest. Spread the batter in your prepared pan and bake until the top is firm and cracked, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then run a knife around the outside edges and remove the ring. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or scoop of your favorite ice cream, if desired. 

When cutting, make sure you wipe your knife after each slice. This will ensure a pretty presentation since the sticky cake will like to clump. 

xoxo -J

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