Chocolate Pecan Torte
Okay, so yesterday brought an afternoon of visiting parks and walking trails with my husband and children. But today I am back to share another recipe. I told my husband he could make a special request for dessert for Friday evening, so he searched through some of my recipe books and chose a recipe from “The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate”, which he bought for me years ago. The recipe he chose was, as the title of this post proclaims, “Chocolate Pecan Torte”. I did a quick search of the internet and did not find this recipe, so here it is:
7 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup ground pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
24 toasted pecan halves, to decorate
FOR THE CHOCOLATE HONEY GLAZE
4 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan; line with baking parchment. Wrap the pan in foil to prevent water from seeping in. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until the mixture is frothy. Stir in the melted chocolate, ground nuts, and cinnamon. Pour into the pan.
2. Place the pan in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come 3/4 inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edge of the cake is set but the center is still soft. Remove the pan from the water bath and lift off the foil. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
3. To prepare the glaze, heat all the ingredients in a small pan until melted, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat, half-dip the toasted pecan halves in the glaze and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment until set.
4. Remove the cake from the pan, place it on the rack and pour the remaining glaze over it. Decorate the outside of the torte with the chocolate dipped pecans and let set. Transfer to a plate when ready to serve, and slice in thin wedges. (Serves 16)
Let’s talk about that chocolate, shall we? I rarely buy chocolate and chop it. For almost every recipe I have that calls for chocolate, I use this: You can’t beat Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips for melting. They melt beautifully for use in coating, with nothing added (no shortening or paraffin or anything!) They also serve as the base for a scrumptious truffle. But I digress. Back to the recipe at hand – no chopping required! I also didn’t bother to cut the butter into pieces. It melts, just stir every once in awhile and it melts and blends with the chocolate. For ground pecans, however, I pulled out the food processor and put it to work on some pecan halves.
Then there was this talk of beating eggs and sugar until frothy. I don’t know, does this look “frothy” enough to you? Well, that’s where I stopped. And here’s what my torte looked like before baking: I got to pull out that roasting pan I haven’t used for a few years since Thanksgiving dinner has been at Mom’s house instead! Once baked, I ended up with a thin cake that looked like this: And finally, the completed creation looked like this: Okay, so I didn’t fit all the pecans around the outer edge as instructed. But I think it’s kind of pretty anyway. And, don’t tell anyone, but I’m pretty sure I forgot to toast those pecan halves! Oh well, 4 of us enjoyed the torte. (The other 2 family members don’t think they like nuts. I say “don’t think” because they won’t try. Maybe one day . . . ) I would describe this as a crunchy cake-like brownie with a ganache-type glaze. If you like that sort of thing, give it a try why don’t you?