The best laid plans, eh? I should have known my evening was a wash when I made my plans over the weekend. I had a master plan to make my tart on Monday and glaze it Tuesday night, right after I had whipped up my chocolate torte. Well, I read the instructions for the torte too quickly and ended up failing epically and having to start over. I did make my glaze right before bed....at 11:30 p.m. Not cool. I'm a little zombieish today as a result.
When my first torte failed I freaked and thought that the second one might collapse as well, so I made a batch of chewy chocolate chip cookies as a back up plan. Those were the easiest and they're no fail. I've always got the fixins' for chocolate chip cookies and can whip them up in a flash. I made the cookies while I waited for my first and failed torte and glaze to cool and set. Then I made my second torte, followed by the glaze, and then I made the glaze for my tart. Needless to say I didn't actually see American Idol so much as I did hear it. That goodness I like jazz, eh? I still effed it up a little, but it's less screwed up than the first one.
Thankfully, the second torte was perfection and I'm getting plenty of compliments over it today. Once I actually read the directions and paced myself (instead of flying through it) the torte was actually quite simple. It's chocolatey and rich (very rich, actually) and isn't too dry or soft. The glaze works lovely, and it was actually pretty fun to watch the glaze drip and set off the torte. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan of Baking, From My Home to Yours.
Chocolate Amaretti Torte
6 or 7 large amaretti cookies (or 18 amarettini cookies)
3/4 c. almonds (I used sliced almonds)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into matchsticks
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour an 8 inch cake pan (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).
In a food processor, pulse amaretti and almonds together until finely ground (about 10 pulses). Set aside.
Put butter, sugar, and eggs into food processor and mix together approx. 3 minutes, or until mixture has a shiny, satiny gloss to it. Scrape down sides of processor bowl to fully incorporate mixture, if necessary. Add ground amaretti and almonds and melted chocolate and pulse mixture until just incorporated. Pour batter into cake pan and place cake pan on a baking sheet to protect the bottom of the torte.
Bake torte for 25-30 minutes. To test doneness, insert a knife into the torte. If it comes out mostly clean but with a few streaks, you're done. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool for about 10-20 minutes before unmolding the torte. Cool to room temperature. Keep torte on cooling rack for glazing.
To make the glaze, place the matchstick chocolate into a 2 cup measuring cup or a heat-proof (or tolerant) cup, preferably with a pour spout. In a small saucepan, stir together the cream, sugar, and water. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Pour cream mixture over the matchstick chocolate. Wait one minute--at least one full minute--and with a small spatula (the small plastic rubber ones work best because they can get into the little crevices of your cup or bowl) stir gently to melt and mix chocolate into cream. The mixture is ready when most, if not all the chocolate is melted (at least the giant pieces that settled into the bottom of the bowl) and the mixture is a lovely shade of chocolate brown. It should be smooth and shiny, not dark and clumpy.
Place a sheet of parchment paper or tin foil underneath the cooling rack to catch drips from the glaze. Pour the glaze over the torte gently. Use a spatula to help it along the top of the torte. Once the top is completely covered, work the glaze over the sides of the torte to cover the sides with the glaze. Smooth the sides, and chill for an hour to set the glaze.
- I STILL screwed up the second torte by not pulsing the cookies first. Oh well. They all mixed well the second time around.
- I got a box of cookies from Starbucks and used all of them. They were relatively tiny and I wasn't sure if they were amaretti or amarettini.
- My cookies also had some sugary sprinkles on them and because I'm lazy I didn't take them off. No issues with the final product.
- The recipe suggests using parchment paper, but I used tinfoil as my drip-catcher and it worked awesome. I made a little boat and raised the sides of the foil so the chocolate was neatly wrapped in foil. Perfect.
- I chose to top my torte with sliced almonds so everyone knew it was a nut product. I love the way it looks and I think it adds a nice little crunch to an otherwise soft dessert. I love contrast.
- As far as I can tell, this is a real crowd pleaser. I've already heard "Amazing" from a coworker. Mmmm....compliments are as delicious as chocolate.