Monday, April 13, 2009

Fudge Torte

The hubby and I had another busy week. We're attempting to put the house back together again, which poses several challenges. We're trying to put things away, go through everything, and combine the guest room and office, all at the same time. So while it feels like we're working very hard, we have little progress to show for our work aside from the growing pile of charity donations. We'll get there eventually. And yes, so far all of my cookbooks are staying.

We also had company for three days. OK, it was my brother, but he still counts. (My definition of company is someone around whom I'm required to wear pants. Much to Cory's relief, this applies to him.) We went to a movie, made lasagna, met up with the grandparents for Easter dinner, and had an all-around good time. Oh, and this was the condition of the interstate on our way to dinner.

Fun driving!

So last night, exhausted from a long week, I decided to make a fudge torte instead of going to bed early. This recipe for which comes from Betty Crocker (I think). I've made this dessert several times over the past few years, and I go back and forth between whether this is my favorite dessert, or if I like the fudge truffle cheesecake better. The torte is very much like a flourless chocolate cake, but even more dense and fudgy. It's amazing. I had to have some.

The torte is a very simple mixture of butter, chocolate, vanilla, and eggs. So when it comes out of the oven, it's baked, but still has a gelatinous quality to it until it sets up. It's a bit fragile in that state. I always let it cool in the pan, flip it out onto my serving plate, and let it cool again a bit before letting it set up in the fridge.

But last night, I had a horrifying problem. My torte refused to leave the pan. This has NEVER happened to me.

Maybe it had something to do with the weather yesterday. Maybe my oven temperature is differing slightly from before. Maybe it was related to the fact that I forgot to grease the pan. One never knows why this sort of thing happens.

I attempted to use the force of gravity, aided by intense banging on the counter, to remove the torte from the pan. Until the hubby made me stop; he was afraid the neighbors would complain. His solution was to grab a spatula and make a move like he was going to scoop it out. I freaked out and said, "No, you can't do that! It has to come out it one whole piece!"

He said, "Why? What happens if it doesn't?"

"It'll break!"

"And what happens if it breaks?"

"It'll be BROKEN!" Sometimes men can be so dense.

So the hubby took over my banging and shaking, and eventually got ... half the torte on the serving plate.

At this point, I was exhausted, laughing, and covered in chocolate, and my torte was a mess. So, I did was any self-respecting cook would do.

I mashed it all back in the pan and covered it with ganache.

I wish I could cover up all my mistakes with ganache.

Fudge Torte
Serves 8-10

1 c. butter
2 2/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8" round pan. (Looking back, this part is probably important.)

2. In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate mixture from heat. Stir in vanilla, and gently stir in eggs until well blended. Pour mixture into pan.

3. Place round pan in a 9x13 pan. Add warm water to the larger pan until the bottom inch of the round pan is surrounded by the water bath.

4. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until center of torte is set. Remove round pan from water and cool on a rack 40 minutes.

5. Run a knife along the edge of the torte to loosen the torte from the sides of the pan. Invert the torte onto a serving plate. (This is the glamorous option. If the torte won't come out of the pan, just leave it there.) Cool 20 minutes.

6. In a small saucepan, combine cream, corn syrup, and vanilla. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour over chocolate chips in a small bowl, and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined.

It'll look like this at first, but it will come together quickly.

7. Pour ganache over torte.

8. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

I'll get a better picture of this another time. First piece out is always a little wonky.

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