Friday, 24 September 2010

Chocolate Ginger Torte

This is not a pretty dessert, so not easy to photograph. You can tart it up with ganache or a fudgey frosting, but we find it so rich that it only needs a spoonful of whipped vanilla cream as an accompaniment - and perhaps a few berries, if you have any which compliment chocolate. You can make it look much more elegant with careful plating up and presentation, so I find it a useful dessert when we have guests for meals. This type of torte is sometimes called a baked mousse, as it has the texture of a dense, rich, truffle-like mousse, and I think it's even easier to make than the classic mousse which only uses eggs and chocolate.

I first came across this recipe many years ago, on one of the first internet communities I joined. It was posted by someone called Judy, and was an instant hit. It became known as Judy's Gooey Chocolate Cake. That website has recently gone into a decline, and I'm not sure how much longer it will remain online, but I will give the link to the original recipe, and hope that it's available for a while. I'll also write out the recipe fully, in case the link disappears.

I usually make this unflavoured, but decided to add some very finely chopped preserved stem ginger, and some of the ginger syrup, this time. It made me realise that the recipe could take any number of variations - a little liqueur, various spices (maybe even chilli), ground nuts instead of flour. I toyed with the idea of baking it on a crumb base made with crushed Oreos, but decided to leave that this time, although I think it might work well.

350g plain chocolate - see note
140g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
5 large eggs - separated
50g plain flour
3 balls of preserved stem ginger
2 tablespoons of syrup from the ginger jar

Note - I think this is one occasion where you don't need a chocolate with really high cocoa solids. I usually use under 70%, but this time used  72%, and saw signs of the chocolate mixture thickening too much after melting. Between 60 and 70% would be best, when you also take into account the relatively low amount of sugar.

Pre-heat the oven to 175C and prepare a 22cm (9") round springform tin.
Chop the stem ginger really finely - I used a mini food processor.
Melt the chocolate, sugar, butter and ginger syrup together in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cool the chocolate mixture a little if necessary, so that it's about blood heat, then mix in the beaten egg yolks, flour and chopped stem ginger.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. It's important not to overbake this as you want it to still be moist after it cools. A probe should show a few moist crumbs still clinging to it.
Cool in the tin. I always leave this on the springform base for serving, so I'm not sure how easy it is to remove from the tin completely.

The ginger flavour of this is quite mild - I think you could easily use more for a stronger flavour. The torte is dense and moist and has the 'melt in the mouth' texture that mousses and truffles have. One of my favourite chocolate desserts and really quick and easy to make. I'd go so far as to call it foolproof! I broke one of the egg yolks this time, so put one whole egg into the mixture with the yolks, and only whisked four egg whites, but the end result was still good!


Foodycat said...

Sounds like a very forgiving dessert! A bit of cinnamon and chilli would be lovely, but it is so hard to beat ginger and chocolate.

Gillian said...

Hmmmm ginger and chocolate - yom. Those preserved ginger balls are super. I use them in dark adn ginger cookies. I must give this a go - but I will probably over cook it the first few times :-0

Anonymous said...

I adore truffle cakes, and the addition of ginger is inspired, Sue! :)

Suelle said...

Thanks for your kind comments, everyone!

Joanna said...

I'm trying to stay off the sweets for a bit, and you keep posting gorgeous cakes and wonderful recipes like this one that I avidly read and think – must make that. There aren't enough days in the year for all the cakes you offer us! Thank you Sue!

Suelle said...

I know just what you mean, Joanna - I'm trying to bake smaller cakes so that the CT can eat most of them by himself, before they goes stale - after I've had a slice to review, of course!:)

My other excuse is that Hubs and I don't eat bread - apart from Saturday lunch, as a treat!

Choclette said...

Gooey chocolate cake gets me every time. And ginger and chocolate is a match made..... I baked something very similar to this for my mother who lives on her own, though used ground almonds rather than flour. It lasted her 8 days and she said it tasted better and better each day - always useful to have a cake that keeps well.