Double chocolate torte (GF)

Whenever a birthday rolls around in our flat, I (perhaps not altogether unexpectedly) seem to wind up baking a cake. A couple of weeks ago it was Josh’s turn, and as the mood demanded ‘something chocolatey’, I went in search of a suitably decadent dessert. Recalling rumours of my sister, Christine’s, Double Chocolate Torte (which, much to my frustration, I’ve never actually managed to sample), I tracked down the recipe for the elusive delicacy on Epicurious. After making some slight modifications, I came up with the following recipe, suitable for gluten haters and lovers alike.

***Keep in mind this recipe calls for 6 hours of chilling time. I reckon you might be able to get away with 5, but anything short of that will be pushing it.

Preheat your oven to 165°C/325°F.

What you’ll need

For the cake:
250g dark chocolate, chopped
250g unsalted butter
225g (1 cup) sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
30g (1/4 cup) gluten free flour (feel free to substitute plain flour if you’re not gluten-intolerant)

For the mousse:
125g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
300mL double/whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
250g dark chocolate, chopped
115g (1/2 cup), plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

What to do

For the cake:
If you haven’t already turned the oven on, preheat it to a balmy 165°C/325°F. To begin with, find a round, roughly 10″/25cm diameter, springform or cheesecake pan, grease it with butter and dust with sugar.

In a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the dark chocolate and allow it to cool until it’s lukewarm. Next, whisk in the sugar, followed by your eggs (these should be one-at-a-time), and blend until smooth. Finally, add the vanilla, salt and flour, and pour the batter into your cake pan. Bake for roughly 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool completely in the tin. Pop this into the fridge while you get cracking on your mousse.

For the mousse:
Once again, set a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, and begin by melting the butter. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg yolks, 65mL (1/4 cup) cream and your vanilla extract. Gradually add this mixture to the butter, and continue to stir over the saucepan of boiling water for six minutes (towards the end of the six minutes, the mixture will start to separate – don’t worry, this is normal). Remove the mixture from the water and add your chocolate, which should melt with a bit of encouraging stirring.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and 115g (1/2 cup) of sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Add a quarter of these egg whites to your chocolate mixture and stir until mixed through. Fold in the remaining egg whites and pour the resulting mixture over your refrigerated cake. Smooth the top out and pop back into the fridge until the mousse is set (this will take about 6 hours, but you can leave it for up to a day if it’s more convenient).

Before serving, run a knife around the edge of of your pan to loosen the torte, remove it from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. With an electric mixer, beat the remainder of the cream and sweeten to taste with sugar.

Spread the whipped cream over the top of the torte and garnish with strawberries, raspberries, or another fruit of your choice.

After that, enjoy!

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