Saturday, February 11, 2012
Celebrate Love & Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
This is the first of two (delicious, chocolate) Valentine's Day desserts. Everything is better in pairs. And I do have two special loves this year. Although, one of them is not yet old enough and will have to settle for the organic carrots Mommy made for him in lieu of cake. Daddy will be happy to eat his share.
Every day I wake up to Barrett's beaming, smiling little face and my wonderful husband, I fall in love...again and again.
With this, who couldn't...
For me, every day is an occasion worth celebrating because it is within that love, I get to live my dream come true.
I never subscribed to the commercialism of Valentine's Day; cards, candy, flowers, but the celebration of love, I know what that's all about, and there's nothing sweeter.
Dear friends, May you be every day~living out your dreams in love.
Chocolate Hazelnut Torte:
Recipe courtesy and Adapted from Joy of Baking
1/2 cup (70 grams) hazelnuts
1/4 cup (30 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
6 ounces (170 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Toasting Nuts: Turn oven to 350 degrees to preheat, making sure rack is placed in center of oven. Add nuts to baking sheet and place in oven for about 15 minutes or until skins begin to crack and loosen from nuts. Remove baking sheet from oven and add nuts into a clean dish towel. Twist towel so no air can get in or out and allow nuts to steam for 5 minutes. Use towel to remove the skin from nuts by rubbing. I could not get them all off and that was fine. Allow to cool.
Ground Hazelnuts: When your hazelnuts have cooled completely, add into food processor, including flour and salt, pulse until hazelnuts are finely ground. Put aside.
Prepare and Bake Torte: Turn oven temperature up to 375 degrees. Prepare 8 x 3 inch springform cake pan by lining with parchment paper. I used a tart pan.
While eggs are still cold, separate, placing egg whites and egg yolks into different bowls. Allow to come to room temperature covered.
Add chocolate and butter to heatproof bowl and place on top of saucepan of simmering water. Stir while chocolate melts and remove from heat. Set aside.
Combine egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar in bowl of electric mixer or, using hand mixer and bowl, beat until mixture becomes thicker and pale yellow in color, about 3-5 minutes. (Lifting beaters from mixture should create silky ribbon.) Mix in vanilla extract. Using rubber spatula, fold in melted chocolate mixture and nut and flour mixture, taking care to be gentle. Put aside. In clean, preferably glass bowl, use whisk attachment to beat egg whites, mixing on medium speed. When egg whites become foamy add in cream of tartar. Beat continuously until soft peaks have formed. Slowly add in remainder of sugar, 1/4 cup, with mixer turned to high, and beat until egg whites just become stiff.
Lighten chocolate mixture by folding in small amount of whisked egg whites. Fold in remainder of egg whites quickly. Be careful to gently incorporate just until mixed as to not deflate batter. Add batter into prepared pan and level top.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until inserted toothpick in center of cake removes with moist crumbs. Allow torte to cool completely on wire rack. Once cooled, torte will fall in center and may crack on top. This cake is dense and moist. I liken it to a hazelnut brownie. I served it with homemade ganache and gently whipped cream. So good!