This month's Random Recipe challenge teamed up participants and had them make a recipe that a team member randomly chose ... a neat trick! Well, I got the treat when Lyndsey from Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops chose this recipe for me! I'm making it for a Halloween treat; it's small enough that it will be gone by the end of the evening. I intend to offer our neighbor's a dessert and coffee 'trick or treat' as they bring their children by for their more traditional candy treats. This treat involves chocolate ... a lot of chocolate!
My recipe comes from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. I've begun to slowly find used copies of the various CIA cookbooks as I browse the Web and poke around consignment shops and used book bookstores. Their cook books have a wealth of information on technique as well as classic recipes. Lyndsey couldn't have chosen a more classic recipe for me!
This torte ... a cake and fluffy filling ... is a chilled dessert. It involves making a chocolate sponge cake, splitting the cake horizontally, brushing it with a simple syrup and then filling the layers with a chocolate sabayon (read: schmancy chocolate pudding fluff). The cake is chilled and then given a super smooth outer layer of chocolate ganache. Very chic ... very rich ... very chocolate!
My torte looks , of course, like an amateur made it ... no apologies there, but it tastes so incredibly good, even with all my mistakes!
My chocolate sponge cake never really 'sponged' ... it was heavy. I didn't drizzle as much simple syrup on it as I should have, as it was a bit dry on the lower layer toward the center of the cake. I think the next time I make the cake, I'll use my mother's tried and true basic chocolate cake ... the sabayon filling got stiff on me, so I had to warm it a bit as I whipped the whipped cream into the chocolate gelatin base to finish the schmancy sabayon. It is totally wonderful! Finally, the chocolate ganache was a bit lumpy ... my little handmixer just doesn't make it these days. To boot, I was a bit excited about this ganache and rushed the whipping process, I think.
All these foibles you can see in the up close and personal of a slice of this little chocolate bomb ...
... that I totally devoured after the photo shoot ... I'm hoping there is some left later when the trick-or-treaters arrive. It could be a tricky affair, though. All day in the house alone with a chocolate torte ... on a day when chocolate treats reign supreme ... sigh ... our inner chocolate demons may possess us ... bwah -ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!
Happy Halloween, all!