Sunday, July 28, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Torte

We could also call this "The Torte of Doom"-- not because it was so yummy (although it was), but because it took me two tries, a totally wrecked kitchen, and one minor fire to get this torte made. Bad things happened in my kitchen during the production of this dessert. 

You can see failed attempt one (the curdled mess) and miscellaneous kitchen destruction above. So the first time I tried to make this, I definitely curdled the eggs (I will tell you more about that in the recipe). The second time, I set one of my kitchen towels on fire melting the chocolate. Oopsy. 

All joking aside, I thought this was going to be an easy recipe-- but I was surprised by all the places this torte could go wrong. I have tried to make notes about my specific experiences and places that you can definitely learn from my mistakes. The end result is definitely worth it-- the husband ate a quarter of it in just about one sitting (and he will hate that I shared that on the interwebs). :)

Flourless Chocolate Torte

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (for dusting the pan)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 lb (16 oz) semi- or bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
5 large eggs, separated
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter the inside of a 9-inch springform pan, cut parchment paper to fit the bottom, and dust the inside with cocoa powder. 

In a double boiler or glass bowl set over simmering water, melt together the butter and chopped chocolate. Stir frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add cooled chocolate to the yolks, whisking constantly. (This is where I made my first mistake-- I didn't let the chocolate cool enough before I added it to the eggs-- and I subsequently scrambled the yolks. Gross. You should wait until the chocolate is almost room temp, but not solid, before you add it to the yolks.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks appear. Add the powdered sugar, and continue to whisk until the whites hold stiff peaks. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold in about a quarter of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Once you've done that, add the remainder of the whipped whites to the chocolate and fold them in gently until no white streaks remain. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap to release any bubbles. Bake about one hour, or until edges are puffed and pull away from the pan. Cool in pan on wire rack. 

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