Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Brownie Torte

I know it's half-past Valentine thirty, but you need to make this recipe. I normally make this easy dessert in a 9" spring form pan, but I just couldn't pass up making these heart shaped hunks of chocolate goodness all adorned with cupid-esque cuteness in honor of Saint Valentine!!

This particular recipe was added to my repertoire some twenty years ago. It came with a group of recipe cards advertising a monthly recipe membership.  I made it once for a group of sewing friends and the rest is history.  The ingredients are pretty standard pantry staples and goes together in a matter of minutes.  The only lead time is allowing the torte to cool so that you can finish it with a fudgey glaze.

I'm giving you the original recipe. Over the years I've modified it to use organic corn syrup or organic agave (Wholesome Sweeteners brand) in place of conventional corn syrup. I've also found that whole wheat pastry flour (Wheat Montana brand) is a great substitution for all-purpose white flour. In my personal opinion, the end result is just as good, perhaps even better. As per usual, I use organic whenever possible. In this recipe I use organic butter, organic cane sugar and organic eggs.

Chocolate Brownie Torte

makes one 9" torte (10-12 servings)

1/2 cup corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" spring form pan. Melt corn syrup, butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium heat just until chocolate has melted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cream sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add melted chocolate mixture and stir just until mixed. Add salt, flour and nuts, mixing just until incorporated.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until done when tested in center. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the outside edge of spring form pan. Release spring form clamp and remove outer spring form ring.  Allow to completely cool.

*high altitude adjustments-add 1 tbsp flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp corn syrup (Karo)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until melted. Allow to cool slightly, then pour over torte and spread along sides.

In honor of Valentine' Day, I made ganache rather than the standard glaze, so if you're feeling extra decadent and have the ingredients on hand, I'd say go for it. The ratio for ganache equal parts heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz heavy cream
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Place heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Pour over chocolate chips. Allow to sit for a few minutes before stirring. Stir until melted. Allow to cool slightly, then pour over torte and spread along sides.

My pictures do not reflect it, but I also made strawberry coulis to go along with the torte and vanilla bean ice cream. ("cupid" adornment consists of melted white chocolate piped in a pastry bag)

Strawberry Coulis

makes approximately 2 cups

10-12 oz frozen organic strawberries
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
juice of half lemon

Add ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cook on low until sugar has dissolved. Use immersion blender to puree. Strain strawberry mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made several days in advance.

The heart shaped pan is a Wilton product. I was lucky enough stumble upon this pan at a thrift store. If you know me, you'd understand the "lucky" part--I get weak in the knees for all things "♥"!  I won't go into detail, but I've included a picture depicting the heart shaped parchment liners I cut.  This step will make getting the baked goods out of the pan easy-peasy.  Just revert back to the paper cutting skills you acquired in kindergarten! Oh, and remember to grease the pan, insert parchment, then re-grease parchment followed by dusting with flour.


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