As a full-fledged chocoholic, there is absolutely no chance that I would be letting Valentine’s Day pass by without a wonderful chocolate treat! This was the first time I’d made this chocolate torte and it did not disappoint. It was fabulous. Beyond the wonderfully rich chocolate torte, made up of a flourless chocolate cake on the bottom and chocolate mousse on the top, I paired it up with a duo of sauces on the plate, just to cut the richness a bit. It was very pretty as well as tasty.
This torte is wonderful for entertaining or for a special occasion at home. It can be made up to a day ahead (always a bonus!) and it’s impossible to make this cake look bad (no icing to deal with and it cuts beautifully). It will definitely impress your friends and family.
P.S. You’ll notice in the pictures that the Creme Anglais is conspicuously absent. I had decided to make only half the recipe as there were only 4 of us for dinner. Big mistake. It was so good (a lovely change from whipped cream!) and it was all eaten up, leaving none for the after-dinner photo of the cake. If the creme was there, you would see that the raspberry sauce makes cute little “heart” shapes when a skewer is run through them, which makes it especially nice for Valentine’s Day.
Double Chocolate Torte with Two Sauces
Summary: This torte can be made up to 24 ahead and refrigerated. That said, it tastes best at closer to room temperature, so take it out of the fridge an hour or so before serving. This torte is wonderfully rich in chocolate flavour, so a little goes a long way. Serve as a “sliver” rather than a slice. You can always have seconds! Will make about 16 slices.
- For the Cake:
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used bittersweet)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- For the Mousse:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup whipping cream (35%)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet and found the contrast with the bittersweet cake lovely!)
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- For the Creme Anglais:
- 1 cup whipping cream (35%)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- For the Raspberry Sauce:
- Frozen raspberries (about 1 cup)
- Sugar to sweeten
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Optional: fresh raspberries and a mint sprig, for garnish
- Prepare the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 10-inch-diameter springform pan and dust with white sugar. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt, then flour. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake until cake just rises in centre (tester inserted into centre will not come out clean, so don’t bother with that), about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Cover and chill while making mousse.
- Prepare the mousse:
- Melt butter in a medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk yolks, 1/4 cup cream and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into bowl with melted butter. Whisk constantly over simmering water until thermometer registers 150° F, about 6 minutes (mixture may appear broken). Remove from over water; add chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk 1/4 of beaten egg white mixture into warm chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour mousse over cake in pan; smooth top. Chill torte until mousse is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
- To make the Creme Anglais:
- In a heavy medium-size saucepan, combine THE cream and sugar. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into pan. Add pod. Bring mixture just to boil over medium-low heat but don’t let it continue to boil or it may curdle. Remove pan from heat to stop the boiling.) Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl to blend. Whisk in half of the warm cream to temper the eggs and the return mixture to the saucepan and cook until thickened, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes; strain into bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Makes 1 1/4 cups
- To make the Raspberry Sauce:
- Take a cup of frozen raspberries; put them in your food processor for a few seconds, add sugar to taste, and then strain them. In a small saucepan, heat raspberry mixture and add cornstarch; stirring to mix well. Cook over medium low heat until sauce is no longer cloudy. Remove from heat. (Alternately, if you have frozen raspberries frozen in syrup, just heat and thicken the syrup part).
- To serve:
- Run a sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen torte. Release pan sides.
- Prepare serving plates by spooning a puddle of creme anglais over the bottom of the plate. Using either a food-grade squirt bottle or a spoon, put dots of raspberry sauce around the edge of the creme puddle, about an inch apart and about an inch in diameter. Using a skewer point, run through the centre of the raspberry puddles, to make a heart-shaped streak. Do this all around the plate. Place slice of torte in the middle of the plate and garnish with a mint sprig.
Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 55 min | Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 12
Adapted from a Bon Apetit December 2000 recipe