Salutations my fellow foodies, hope you all had an enjoyable July 4th weekend! As the saying of my festivities went, we all got ‘Star Spangled Hammered’…haha oh how my lame self enjoys a good pun. Anyway, this past weekend I had some family from Texas come visit, and of course with any family visit came a schmorgesborg of food. Let me just tell you about the spread we had: Antipasto with the works, caprese salad, homemade mac’ n’ cheese, and my dad smoked three racks of ribs in our backyard. My carnivorous self was very much in heaven.
So of course I was in charge of dessert, and with my moms suggestion, I was going to make my Fruit Tart. She had already purchased all the ingredients I needed to make it when I realized that I wanted to bake something totally different! Again, I want to expand my baking portfolio–so I whipped out my cook books and got thinking. I already had the ingredients for the tarts marscapone filling and a handful of fresh fruit, so I needed to incorporate that somehow. With the help of one of my favorite recipe books, The Cake Book by Tish Boyle, I figured I could find a nice counterpart for the toppings.
While flipping through I came across this delicious sounding Chocolate Almond Torte. I’ve never made one before but it sounded incredibly enticing. The Torte is baked in a water bath which gives the inside a beautifully soft texture, one similar to the inside of a truffle, and the lightly toasted almond flour gives the Torte a subtle fragrance of nuts. The marscapone frosting, which I incorporated with an almond extract instead of vanilla, is a lovely accompaniment for a fresh and light taste which compliments the deep rich flavor of the Torte. If you are a chocoholic this is definitely the cake for you to try, and for the purist, a simple dusting of powdered sugar will do the trick. It looks absolutely gorgeous when served and among the first bite will give you the feeling of pure indulgence. Enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Almond Torte with Marscapone Frosting and Fresh Fruit
Yields: 10 servings
- 13 ounce good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
- 2/3 (2.8 oz/80 grams) cup silvered almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 carton (8 oz) marscapone cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Fresh Fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries
- 9×3-inch springform pan
- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×3-inch springform pan. Cut an 18-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and warp the foil around the outside of the pan.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a medium stainless steel bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water (to create a double boiler). Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Remove bowl from the pot and set the mixture aside to cool until tepid, then stir in the brandy or cognac.
- Put the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Add the salt and pulse until combined.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until blended. Gradually adding the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, increase the speed to high and beat until light and pale, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the tepid chocolate and the ground almond mixture, mixing until almonst completely blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and finish blending by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a roasting pan or large baking pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough hot water into the pan to come almost halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the Torte for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the Torte comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Set the pan on a wire rack and carefully loosen the foil. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
- Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Place bottom of the springform pan on a cake plate and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
- In the meantime, get started on the marscapone frosting. Beat the mascarpone cheese, sugar, and almond extract together until smooth. Gently dollop the frosting into the middle of the Torte and smooth to the outer edge. Cut up your fruit and arrange along the top.