Wednesday, 1 March 2017

If You Make One Thing This Week...A Chocolate Nut Torte...

These chocolate nut tortes are just the bees knees! I have been making these for years and totally adore them. I'd like to think of them as the Chanel bag of the cake world, since you can dress them up for a party, or dress them down for everyday!
This  would make a glorious  birthday cake, or, leave out the ganache, and serve it with some lightly whipped cream or some good quality vanilla ice cream, for an elegant dessert.
These are made with almonds and pistachios, but I have made them with hazel nuts, walnuts, and even cashews. Oh, and you can make a large cake or individual ones. Told you that this cake was versatile!

So without further ado, let's get to the recipe...

Note: *Try to make the chocolate paste the day before you plan on making this cake.
           ** I used Lindt Ecuador 70% dark chocolate for this cake, but feel free to use a chocolate of your preference.

150 grams shelled pistachios
150 grams almonds (skins can be left on)
1 tablespoon cake flour
320 grams dark chocolate
260 grams butter
100 grams + 1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 180°.
Line the bottom of  a 23cm springform tin, or 5 x 11cm individual tins with baking paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the tin(s). Dust the tins with some cocoa powder. Shake put excess. Whizz the the nuts and flour in a food processor, until finely ground. Add the chocolate and grind finely.
In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and 100 grams of caster sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the nut and chocolate mixture. In a clean, grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining tablespoon of caster sugar, until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the egg whites in two batches. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin(s). Bake for about 1 hour, or until the torte feels firm. Place the torte on a wire rack and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust the torte with icing  sugar, or to decorate, spread the ganache over the top and side of the cake, and decorate with a chocolate paste rose.. This torte keeps well for up to 1 week.

100 ml whipping cream
200 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped

Heat the cream in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, until it just starts to bubble. Add the chocolate, and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is silky smooth. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Paste: (for rose)

150 grams dark chocolate, melted
50 grams liquid glucose or light corn syrup
1 tablespoon warm water

Cool the chocolate to 40°C. Warm the glucose/ corn syrup slightly. Add to the chocolate and mix well. Add the water. Wrap well in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 6 hours.
When ready to use, remove from the plastic wrap and knead well until pliable. The paste will be really stiff initially but it will soften as you knead it. Pass it through a pasta maker or roll it out thinly between two sheets of plastic. Cut into strips and swirl into a rose or make individual roses like you would with fondant.