It has been a warm, humid but rainy weekend...great time to stay in and try out recipes from my new cookbooks. Apart from the truffles that kept me busy all of Saturday (and wee hours of Sunday morning), i also decided on making a cake from Fran Bigelow's Pure Chocolate. I chose the L'Orange Torte which she recommends as one of the easiest among all her other recipes.
I did not follow the recipe to the finest detail as the first mixture i made following every step of the recipe did not work out and i threw it out. Ahhh...the joys of baking, its all a big suspense till your cake comes out of the oven.
6 oz semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oranges, pref large navels with dark, rough-textured skin
12 tbsp butter/240g
1 cup sugar, set aside 1 tbsp for beating egg whites (i find icing sugar gives the best result to the fluffiness of the butter)
4 large eggs, room temp; seperate yolks and whites.
1 2/3 cup almond flour
1 recipe Chocolate Butter Glaze (recipe to follow)
Pre-heat oven with a middle rack in the oven at 150 degrees C
Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (pref flared) and line with a parchment paper at the bottom
In a double boiler melt the chocolate over low heat. (I turned off the heat and used the heat from the steam to melt chocolate. I find if i had the heat on, it will over cook the chocolate)
Remove when nearly melted and continue stirring until smooth. Briefly return to the double boiler if it begins to thicken.
Wash the oranges. Using a fine grater or microplaner, finely grate the zest onto a plate and set aside.
Add butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until pale cream in colour.
When butter is sufficiently white and fluffy, lower speed slightly and add in yolks one at a time. Mix well for about 2-3 min.
In another bowl, add in 1 tbsp of icing sugar with the 4 egg whites. Beat on high speed until its white, fluffy and doubled in size.
With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the egg whites into the butter mixture swiftly, do not stir as you want to maintain as much of the air bubbles as possible. This should only take about 1-2 min.
Fold in the almond flour little by little. You will notice mixture slowly thickens and has more body.
Slowly fold in the chocolate. Make sure that the chocolate is not too warm else it will cook the eggs.
Fold in grated orange at the very end as adding it too early (as recommended by Fran together with butter and sugar caused mixture to seperate due to the juice still within the grated skin.)
Quickly pour mixture into lined pan and bake for about 40min until puffed and domed in the center with a slight fracture 1 inch from the rim. Test with cake tester and it should have a few moist crumbs.
Allow cake to cool for 15min in the pan.
To remove from pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake and invert onto a metal tart-pan bottom. Chill in fridge for a few hours or overnight.
To finish Torte
Bring torte to room temp, trim any uneven edges. While torte is warming up in room temp, prepare chocolate butter glaze.
Have ready chocolate butter glaze.
To make glaze:
4 oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
In a double boiler or bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove the top of the boiler or bowl when chocolate is nearly melted and continue stirring until smooth. Add the softened butter, slowly stirring with a spatula until no visible traces of butter remaining. (if butter starts to liquify, stop and let the chocolate cool slightly.)
The glaze should be glossy and smooth with a temperature of 26-29 degrees C. When stirred, it will hold a line on the surface for about 10sec before disappearing. If the glaze is starting to set up, return briefly to the double boiler.
Place torte (on tart bottom) on a cooling rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet. Beginning 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the torte, slowly and evenly pour the glaze around the torte layer, making sure that the sides are sufficiently covered. Then pour remaining glaze onto the center.
Working quickly, using a metal offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the top, letting excess run down the sides.
Let set at room temp until the glaze is slightly firm. Once set, slide torte onto serving plate. Can be stored at room temp up to 3 days.
My final product!