Chocolate Scoop-Away Torte

I love chocolate. More so, I love chocolate torte. I had first made this dessert 3 years ago, and I think I made it about five more times in the next six months. I honestly think the last time I made this was two years ago. What! It's like I had exhausted all my love for this torte in a short amount of time. But no matter; it will always be in my top five chocolate desserts.
This dessert is called a torte because of its lack of flour. The density and flavor of the chocolate is contrasted with the lightness of whipped egg whites. The result is an incredibly soft yet dense torte that literally melts in your mouth yet gives such a powerful flavor on the tongue. Seriously, one scoop of this torte is all you need for the entire day. A tablespoon scoop, and that's pushing it. This is good to make every so often; when I discovered its power to make even the strongest fall down to their knees I made it too much thus losing its value. Just kidding. I still value this dessert even when I haven't had it in years. It's that good that it stays in my palate.

This particular recipe is called a Scoop-Away because I forgot to bake this in a springform pan; I used a 9x2 inch round cake pan. Actually, the cake won't stick to the sides with adequate buttering, but I'm also very lazy and decided that it'd be funner to just scoop out the torte. Unless I'm serving this to people deserving of presentation, I'm all for taking the elegance out of the equation and leaving just plain yum.

The only thing missing is whipped cream.

Chocolate Torte
Adapted from joyofbaking.com

6 large eggs, separated
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Ganache: (Optional)
Note: I halved the recipe and since I couldn't remove the sides of the pan I removed the cracked crust and spooned the ganache over the cake.
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon or brandy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9 x 3 inch (23 x 8 cm) springform pan or spray with a nonstick cooking spray.

Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
Separate the eggs while still cold, placing the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another bowl. Cover both with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Place egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 3-5 minutes. (The eggs should have tripled in volume, look thick and soft, and when you lift the beater the mixture falls back into the bowl in a slow ribbon.) Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture.
In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, fold a small amount of whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites, folding just until incorporated. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate.
Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake the cake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. (During baking the surface of the cake will form a crust which will collapse when the cake is removed from the oven.) 

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. The top of the cake will have become hard with a cracked surface and lots of crumbs. Serve with softly whipped cream.
Note: If covering the torte with ganache, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or up to a few days.

Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.Remove torte from refrigerator and brush any loose crumbs from the cake. Place on a wire rack, top of the cake facing down (so now the bottom of the cake is facing up).
Put the wire rack on a baking sheet. In this way if the chocolate ganache drips it will fall on the baking sheet, which makes clean up easier.

Pour the ganache into the center of the cake. Spread the ganache with a spatula, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake to create an even coating. If there are any bare spots on the sides of cake, cover with ganache.
Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, until ganache has hardened slightly.



  2. This looks really good! And nice color for the background, very complementary. Even in texture! Shia LeBoeuf would concur. X-Files s7e6.