This Dan Lepard dessert is the kind of thing which is only really permissible for celebrations - Christmas, Easter, birthdays or similar. The mere fact of using over a kilogram of chocolate, and 800mls of cream, in one dessert is enough to make you have second thoughts about it at any other time!
Guardian Weekend Magazine, we all said it was what we wanted for our special treat - no Easter Egss for us! In the end, we weren't dissapointed! This dessert is like eating pure chocolate by the spoonful!
As an aside, I have to say I was severely tempted by some slices of soft Italian nougat 'cake' on sale at our local Continental Market yesterday, but the thought of this torte in the fridge stopped me reaching for my purse!
This dessert looked simple to make, and, with the exception of the coffee flavoured covering, each individual step was simple, but putting it together and turning it out was fraught with incidents, and my nerves were frazzled by the time we eventually got to eat it! The only change I made to the recipe was to use Tia Maria in place of the brandy, which I didn't have. Tia Maria seemed to go well with the coffee flavoured covering, although I left it out of the white truffle mixture in case it affected the colour..
The biggest problem for me was that the covering layer, made by mixing hot coffee into melted chocolate, solidified into a paste as soon as the two ingredients were mixed. I got over this by dotting the paste around the torte and marbling it into the surface of the white truffle, which was still obligingly soft.
I wonder if this textural difference was deliberate on Dan's part, or a result of my choices of chocolate? I know that different chocolates have different characteristics, and the dark chocolate I chose - Tesco's 74% plain from the Ivory Coast - is very crisp. I used Menier white chocolate for desserts and cakes, as I've had problems when melting other brands of white chocolate.
This really was a chocolate overload - so rich! The good point was that it is going to make at least 12 servings and will keep us going for the whole weekend, as it has to be eaten in such small portions!
And what of the leftover white truffle mixture? I stirred in half a jar of lemon curd and set the mixture in four individual ramekins. They came in useful when I decided the torte hadn't set enough to be served for Friday night's dessert!