Thursday, 13 March 2014

Orient Express Chocolate Torte

This chocolate torte recipe is adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Chocolate Desserts, which is the same chocolate torte served in the famous luxury train Orient Express, back when it was known worldwide for gourmet healthy recipes. Pronounced as TOR-tuh, torte is a very rich and decadent cake multilayered with all kinds of indulgences such as whipped cream, mousses, jam, fruits, and buttercream. In this simple easy dessert recipes, chocolate cake is layered with an opulent buttercream.

This easy desserts does not contain any flour, making it the ideal gluten-free chocolate cake. It is rich and dense and absolutely luxurious enough for birthday occasions. The cake is made with unsweetened chocolate, unblanched almonds, eggs, sugar, and salt while the buttercream frosting is made with sweet butter, pure vanilla extract, granulated sugar, eggs, and unsweetened chocolate. You need a springform pan to bake the cake in and a bain-marie for melting the chocolate. A springform pan consists of a round base and a band with a latch on the sides. It is meant for use in cheesecakes, flourless cakes, and other dense cakes.

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
7 ½ oz. (1 ½ cups) unblanched almonds
5 eggs, separated
2 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
For the Buttercream Frosting:
3 oz. sweet butter
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate

Preparation Instructions

Place the oven rack 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 3 in. springform pan. Coarsely chop the chocolate. Place it, along with the almonds, in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

In the small bowl of an electric mixer, pour the 7 egg yolks. Add the sugar and beat until yolks are lemon-colored but not thick. Add the ground chocolate mixture and mix. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a clean and dry mixer bowl, pour the 5 egg whites and the salt. Beat until they hold shape, but not until they are stiff. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 65 minutes, or until the top just springs back when pressed with the fingers. Remove from the oven and run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Place a wire cooling rack over the cake pan and invert. Place the cooling rack on the counter and remove the cake pan. Allow the cake to cool completely on the rack. Freeze the cake for about 1 hour.

In the meantime make the buttercream. In the small bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter and vanilla. Add the sugar and cream for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on high for 2 minutes after each one is added.

Place the chocolate on the top of a double broiler placed over medium heat. Cover. When partially melted, uncover and stir constantly until the chocolate is entirely melted. Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture, beating until well blended. Place the bowl of buttercream, along with the mixer’s beaters, in the freezer or refrigerator until firm.

Remove the cake from the freezer and use a serrated bread knife to cut it in half horizontally, making two layers. Place one layer of the cake, cut side up, on a cake platter. Remove the buttercream from the freezer or refrigerator and beat until it is soft, smooth, and spreadable. Spread 1/3 of the buttercream on top of the bottom layer of cake. Place the second layer of cake on top of this, cut side down. Spread the remaining buttercream over the cake top and sides.

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