Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Almond Torte

Now here's a hefty double dose of chocolate – a moist, dense yet sponge-like chocolate torte topped with a thick layer of chocolate fudge.
A torte is a European-style cake typically based on a sponge cake. It often contains ground nuts in place of all or most of the flour and is always enveloped in a rich and glossy coating. It usually does not contain any chemical leavening agents, as it gets its lift from whipped egg whites that create structure within the cake. One of the most well-known tortes is the Viennese Sachertorte which uses apricot jam between two layers of chocolate cake to prevent drying out and a coating of dark chocolate icing.

This Chocolate Fudge Almond Torte is more than moist and can be served on its own without the chocolate fudge glaze. It has a lovely crispy, cracked top and cries out for a hump of pure vanilla ice cream. But, come on, what reason is there not to make a chocolate fudge glaze? I mean, you could pour this glaze on your rear tires and they'd be good.

To make the glaze, combine cream, sugar, corn syrup and chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the chocolate melts completely. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick with a syrup-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes and then stir in vanilla extract. Pour glaze evenly over torte and gently spread it out to the edges, allowing it to drip over the sides.

This torte can be served warm or at room temperature. If you are not serving it immediately, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and then allow it to come to room temperatures before serving. The fudge glaze will become thick and, of course, just like fudge once it sets in the fridge. 
To make ground almonds, place 1 cup of whole almonds in a food processor and pulse until they break down. Then continue to process until finely ground. One cup of whole almonds makes about 1 1/3 cups ground almonds.
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