turkish chocolate torte

turkish chocolate torteWithout a doubt this is my favourite cake. It also becomes the favourite cake of anyone who tries it when I make one.

the cake:
6 egg whites
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 cup (125g) almond meal
500 g halva, roughly chopped
150 g pitted dates, chopped
Grated zest of 2 oranges
120 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (60ml) brandy

chocolate ganache:
100 ml pure (thin) cream
150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

decorations to serve:
2 tablespoons edible dried rose petals (optional)
2 tablespoons slivered pistachios
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Small mint sprigs

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 24cm springform cake pan with baking paper. Beat egg whites with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly, then beat for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy.

Fold in almond meal, halva, dates, zest and chocolate until just combined. Spoon mixture into the cake pan, then bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until dry and firm to the touch (the cake will still be moist in the centre when tested with a skewer).

While hot, poke several holes in the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour brandy over cake, then cool completely in the pan.

Meanwhile, for the glaze, place cream and chocolate in a pan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stand for 30 minutes or until a thick pouring consistency.

Remove the cooled cake from the pan, transfer to a platter and pour over the chocolate glaze, allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate with rose petals, nuts, pomegranate seeds and mint.

Recipe: Valli Little

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rum raisin chocolate fudge tart

rum raisin choc fudge tartI had some sultanas soaking in rum which were left over from Christmas puddings. The drunken dried grapes had absorbed as much rum as they possibly could and had almost fully re-hydrated. What better to use them up in a very simple, no cook, ganache tart. My supportive man called this one, “freaking awesome!!”

biscuit base:
150 g ‘digestive’ wheat biscuits
30 g butter, melted

ganache:
250 g dark chocolate, broken
200 ml cream
¼ to ½ cup rum soaked raisins/sultanas (either will work and amount is your preference)

rum raisin tart in the tinMake boozy sultanas by putting them in a clean jam jar, covering the sultanas with rum and leaving for about a week (or more), with the lid on, in the fridge. If you need them in a hurry, warm the rum and let them sit for an hour or so.

Make the base by processing the biscuits until fine then add the butter, combine well.
Line the base of a springform tin with greaseproof paper and press the crumbs into the base and a little way up the sides of the tin. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (an hour is better).

Make the gananche by pouring the cream into a medium sized microwave-proof glass bowl. Heat cream until just below boiling, then add chocolate. Mix until chocolate has melted.
Add the boozey sultanas, mix. (Don’t get too heavy handed with the rum, otherwise your chocolate will struggle to set)
rum raisin chocolate fudge cakeLet the chocolate cool to room temp before pouring into the base.
Then return it to the fridge for 1-2 hours.

I like to eat this in small slices with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a short black espresso.

Tip: Use a hot knife to slice it.