Bittersweet chocolate in the dead of winter? Seems like a perfect fit. Although anytime is a good time for chocolate right? Well, in honor of National Bittersweet Chocolate Day, here is a classic. Chocolate Almond Torte.
For the Torte:
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter – cut into cubes
1 12oz bag good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup almond liqueur or cold brewed coffee (according to taste)
2 tsp. almond extract
For the Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
Toasted sliced almonds and fresh strawberries for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
Boil water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add butter, the
12 oz. bag of chocolate chips, espresso powder and salt. Let sit for two minutes to soften chocolate and butter, then stir until smooth. Whisk in liqueur or coffee and almond extract.
Whisk eggs until whites and yolks are combined, then whisk into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, and place cake pan inside a roasting pan. Add warm water to roasting pan until it rises about halfway up the outside of the cake pan. Bake torte until puffy and soft to the touch. This should take approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place the cake pan on a cooling rack. Let cool approximately one hour.
Run a knife or narrow spatula around the inside of the cake pan, then invert onto a platter. Peel the parchment off the top and allow torte to finish cooling completely.
Before serving, heat cream for the ganache to boiling in glass measuring cup – approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips and let sit to soften for a couple of minutes before stirring until smooth. Cool for 2-3 minutes then spread over the top and down the sides of the torte. Sprinkle almonds on top. Slice and serve with strawberries.
*Recipe Courtesy Cuisine at Home Magazine
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