These mountains may not be high, but they are rich, with two chocolate sauces and a caramel sauce napping the chocolate-robed tortes. The tortes are similar to baked mousse, and are delicious even without the sauces. Try heart-shaped molds and raspberry sauce for Valentine’s!
- Chocolate Tortes
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 8 ounces, chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- Brown Sugar - 1-1/2 cups, firmly packed
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 6
- Freshly Brewed Coffee - 1/2 cup
- Slivered Almonds - 1 cup, toasted
- Chocolate Glaze
- Semisweet Chocolate - 10 ounces, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/4 cups
- Corn Syrup - 3 tablespoons
- Cognac - 2 teaspoons
- Vanilla Extract - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- White Chocolate Sauce
- White Chocolate - 1-1/2 pounds, chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/2 cups
- Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur - 2 tablespoons
- Dark Chocolate Sauce
- Water - 1 cup
- Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
- Corn Syrup - 1/4 cup
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 3 tablespoons
- Semisweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, chopped
- Almond Roca Candy - 8 ounces
- Semisweet Chocolate - 4 ounces, chilled
- Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
- Dried Cranberries or Cherries - 1 cup, or 1-1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Granulated Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Caramel Sauce (Makes 2 cups)
- Granulated Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- (hold the artichoke pieces in water with a little lemon juice added to prevent darkening) - 1/2 cup
- Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, heated
- Vanilla Extract - 1/2 teaspoon
To make the chocolate tortes: Grease eight 4-ounce fluted molds with butter. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and cocoa powder. Add the eggs, coffee, and almonds and beat until well blended. Add the melted chocolate mixture and blend in. Divide the batter among the prepared molds. Place the filled molds in a baking pan, then fill the baking pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the molds. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until just set. The edges will be dry, but the center will not be fully cooked; do not overbake or the tortes will be dry. Allow the tortes to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks, let cool slightly, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the chocolate glaze: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes. Stir until melted and smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.
To make the white chocolate sauce: Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Place the heavy cream in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the Triple Sec or other liqueur and pour this ixture over the white chocolate. Stir gently until melted and smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.
To make the dark chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cocoa powder, return to a boil, and cook for 1 additional minute. Repeat with the chopped chocolate and cream. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
To assemble: Spoon the chocolate glaze over the chilled tortes and refrigerate them for 15 minutes. Place the candy in a havy plastic bag and hit it with the smooth side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot until 1/4-inch shards are formed. Shave the chocolate with a vegetable peeler to make 1/4 cup of shavings. In a deep bowl, beat the cream with the sugar until firm peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip. To serve, pool the caramel sauce in the middle of a plate. Place a torte in the middle of the caramel, then pour white chocolate sauce around one side of the torte and dark chocolate around the other side. Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on the left and right sides of the plate. Garnish with candy shards, chocolate shavings, and fruit. Dust the plate rim with confectioners’ sugar. Repeat for remaining plates.
Place the sugar and water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, swirling occasionally. Cover the pan, raise the heat to high or medium-high, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the liquid gives off large, thick bubbles. Remove the cover and cook, swirling the syrup, until it turns golden brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter with a wooden spoon. Add the cream, stirring constantly, then add the vanilla. Return the pan to a low flame and stir constantly until any lumps have melted and the syrup is smooth. Serve warm, or pour into a jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.