Chocolate and nut torte with a rich ganache topping

Chocolate and nut torte with a rich ganache topping Makes 1 cake, serves 12

1 cup (160g) ground almonds

4 large eggs

200g dark chocolate, chopped

150g butter, cut into small pieces

150g castor sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the ganache:

¾ cup cream

220g dark chocolate, broken up

Preheat oven to 180̊C and line an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form tin with baking paper. Separate the eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat. Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup castor sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat the yolks and sugar until pale and thick (ribbon stage). Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Fold in the ground almonds. In a clean bowl, place the egg whites and whisk until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) castor sugar and whisk until stiff peak forms. Fold about 1/3 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it. Quickly fold in the rest of the whites and mix only until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The cake will rise during baking but falls during cooling, leaving a crisp and cracked crust. Once cool, run a spatula around the inside of the pan before releasing the sides. To make the ganache, bring the cream to the boil, take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes and pour over the cake. Once the icing has set, it is ready to serve.Chocolate and nut torte with a rich ganache topping Makes 1 cake, serves 12

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