Chocolate Torte & Ganache (Or Not)

June 9, 2009

The Spanish ladies of the New World are madly addicted to chocolate, to such a point that, not content to drink it several times each day, they even have it served to them in church.
~Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

A lush endorphin rush.

“FLOURLESS” CHOCOLATE TORTE & GANACHE

6 large organic, free range, eggs, separated
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
9 ozs high quality bittersweet chocolate (70-85% cocoa), chopped
1 C granulated white sugar, divided
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/4 C all purpose flour

Confectioners’ sugar or high quality cocoa powder

Ganache:
8 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (70-85% cocoa), chopped
3/4 C heavy whipping cream
2 T unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 F

Butter a 9″ x 3″ springform pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Separate the eggs while still cold, placing the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another bowl. Cover both with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Cool to lukewarm.

Place egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of the electric mixer and beat with the flat paddle on medium high speed until thick, ribbon-like and lemon colored, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, salt, flour and melted chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, fold a small amount of whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites, gently folding just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool, still in pan. Refrigerate for several hours. Remove cake from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Remove springform pan sides, invert cake onto a large plate, and peel away the parchment paper from bottom. Reinvert cake on another large plate or serving platter.

Either serve with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder with homemade vanilla bean ice cream or crème anglaise, unless you opt for ganache.

If covering the torte with ganache (below), cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least several hours.

Ganache:

Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a strong simmer, then pour the cream and butter mixture over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir until smooth.

Pour the ganache into the center of the cake. Spread the ganache with a spatula, using broad strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake, to create an even coating over the entire cake. Refrigerate until served.

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