Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hazelnut Torte With Chocolate Ganache

Nothing says Easter like dark chocolate.  This was on our supper menu and I am about to share it with you all.  Taken from  the food network site, I of course had to tweak it.  I just can't " leave well enough alone".  My cake turned out quite moist and probably more dense, somewhat like an 'opera cake' which can be found in most Montreal 'patisseries'.  Regardless, the taste is amazing; or is it the' kirsch' talking.?  I intend  to repeat this recipe for future occasions.
Unfortunately, there are less instructional photos this time around, given the holiday. However, I hope the picture of the final product will tempt you to want to make this truly decadent cake.

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup ground hazelnuts, lightly toasted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons  unsalted butter at room temperature.
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
 Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment  paper.  In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ground hazelnuts. In a separate bowl, stir the vanilla into the sour cream.  In another large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; adding the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Fold in the flour mixture and sour cream alternately, ending with the dry ingredients.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup 35% whipping cream
8 ounces dark Belgian chocolate, chopped (for easy melting)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons of hazelnut liqueur (  I used kirsch and of course might have been more generous with the measurements  :-)
In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil.  Remove from the heat  and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Allow to sit 2 to 3 minutes and wisk in the butter. Add the kirsch. Set aside.

Chocolate Chantilly Cream Filling ( my personal contribution to this recipe)
3/4 cup 35% whipping cream
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons chocolate ganache
1 to2 tablespoons kirsch

 In a mixing bowl  add the cream and vanilla . Beat the cream until soft peaks start to form and then add the cooled (but not hardened) ganache, the kirsch and gradually beat in the icing sugar.  This moka colored cream serves as a lovely visual contrast to the dark chocolate ganache filling and frosting.

To assemble the cake, simply slice the cake horizontally thru the center.  Spread some of the chocolate ganache on the bottom layer of the cake.  Gently spread the cream filling over this ganache.  Place the top piece of the cake and frost with the remaining chocolate ganache. Garnish with fresh berries, edible flowers or chocolate ruffles.

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