Sunday, 8 April 2012

Layered Chocolate Truffle Torte

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!

However, this is Easter - a holiday associated with chocolate even more than Christmas. The moment this recipe was spotted in last week's 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..

There were no problems with the brownie base or dark chocolate truffle layer, but there was far too much white chocolate truffle mixture for the depth of my springform tin - and I had chosen the larger of the two sizes Dan Lepard suggested. Knowing there was another layer to add, I stopped pouring the white truffle mix with a centimetre to spare in the tin. Looking at the relative sizes of the layers when the torte was out of the tin, I think I used about 2/3rds of it.

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.

Two hours later, I chickened out of trying to get the torte from the tin, as the white truffle layer still seemed too soft - I could see it oozing sideways as I ran a hot knife around the torte to loosen it from the tin. I didn't want to remove the sides of the tin, only to see the top layer run off onto the work surface. A day later, and I felt ready to try again! This time the torte was fine, although there was a marked difference in the solidity of the two truffle layers. The dark layer was rock solid, and could have done with bringing up to room temperature before serving, as it was difficult to cut, but the white truffle layer was soft and barely held it's shape - it softened at room temperature very quickly too! This was an interesting feature of the dessert - the creamy, sweeter and softer topping was an excellent  contrast to the solidity of the dark, almost bitter, truffle.

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!

13 comments:

Foodycat said...

I really like the sound of the improvised white chocolate/lemon curd dessert! Sounds like it'd be worth doing deliberately. I thought this cake sounded fabulous when I saw the recipe, but it does seem a bit too fraught with incident for me to make it.

Caroline said...

Wow, it does look decadent! Perfect for an Easter treat. I wonder why Dan specifies 600g white chocolate for that layer and 400g for the dark layer - perhaps this made the two textures different. It would indeed be interesting to know if a difference in texture was intended or not.

Baking Addict said...

wow definitely a dessert for celebrations. I think I'd rather not know how much cream and chocolate is in there! ;) I'm glad it all worked out in the end and it really does look stunning and incredibly rich. Happy Easter! :)

Suelle said...

Foodycat - if I deliberately set out to make the lemon curd and white chocolate dessert, I would fold in some beaten egg white to lighten the texture a bit. I'm pleased my 'spur of the moment' decision worked so well, though!

Caroline - I think more white chocolate is needed because it contains so much sugar and milk compared to plain chocolate. If I had used only 400g I don't think it would have set at all!

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

Oh my - what a rich dessert indeed with a whole kilo of chocolate and all that cream! Very interesting post on preparing this torte with all those different textures. I like the sound of those lemon tart ramekins too :) Happy Easter!

The KitchenMaid said...

OMG, this looks incredible! I am not surprised a little went a long way... (but what a way to go!)

Chele said...

Oh my word! What an Easter treat. Can't beat chocolate in truffle form at the best of times but in a layer cake .... I think I need to lay down in a dark room for a bit ;0)

Katie said...

Ohh that looks gorgeous! I like your marbled layer rather than it being too perfect. I'm also a fan of the thicker dark chocolate part, so you made the perfect dessert for me!

Hotly Spiced said...

What an amazing looking cook. I can imagine it's incredibly rich but hey, it's Easter and if you're not going to indulge at Easter, when will you!

Maggie said...

What a fabulous indulgent dessert for Easter. I agree, Menier white chocolate is a winner and easy to melt, it is well priced too.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Now that's what I call a fair amount of chocolate. Well, you've got to be indulgent sometimes and this looks like a delicious indulgence.

Cats_cupcakes said...

Wow this looks amazing! A dessert with over a kilogram of chocolate sounds right up my street!

The Baking Bee said...

this looks so delicious! My mouth is watering just looking at the picture! :)