February is national chocolate month so here’s a recipe that will satisfy any chocolaholic! It is my chocolate cabernet torte. Each torte has over 1 1/2 pounds of chocolate plus a dash of reduced cabernet wine. The touch of red wine brings out the chocolate flavors. Make sure to use a good quality chocolate, not chips. Chocolate chips contain extra additives which make it harder to melt. I use Callebaut chocolate at the restaurant but any good quality chocolate works. Make sure to use bittersweet chocolate, not milk chocolate.
I decorate the final torte with a little white chocolate (melted with some cream) then use a toothpick to “swirl” it into a decorative design.
For the cake
- 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup good quality cabernet sauvignon wine
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 large eggs , room temperature
- one cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- strawberry or raspberry sauce
- fresh berries
- free form chocolate decorations
To prepare the pan
Place the red wine and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small pot. Bring to a low boil and reduce until very syrupy. It will reduce to about 3 tablespoons. Watch carefully as you do not want the mixture to reduce so much that it burns.
Place one pound of chopped chocolate in a bowl large enough to fit on the top of the pot. The water should NOT touch the bottom of the pan and this can burn the chocolate. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally if needed.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Place room temperature eggs and remaining sugar in the metal bowl of your mixer. Place on top of the simmering water (add more water if it is getting too low) and whisk eggs until they begin to lighten in color.
Attach the bowl to your mixer and, using a wire whip attachment, whip eggs until very light in color and triple in volume. This will take about 15 minutes. (I am doing a double recipe in the photo so my eggs almost came to the top of my bowl. A single recipe will go about half way up the bowl.)
When tripled, remove bowl from mixer and carefully fold in the melted chocolate and the red wine reduction. Fold until just combined.
Place the whipped cream in a chilled bowl (if possible, place your mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes so that it is cold. This will help your whipped cream to whip better.)
Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate, wine and egg mixture.
Carefully pour the chocolate batter into the prepared spring form pan. Place the pan on a parchment lined baking sheet (I do this just in case your spring form pan leaks.)
Bake in the 325 degree oven until the cake is firm to the touch on top. This should take between 35 minutes. The cake should be slightly”jiggly” but firm to the touch. With all the chocolate in it, the cake firms up when it cools. Don’t worry if it has a few cracks as it cools. The chocolate ganache topping will hide them.
While cake is cooling, met the chocolate and cream for the ganache.
Place the remaining bittersweet chocolate and cream in a metal bowl and place bake on the pot with the two inches of simmering water. Melt chocolate and stir until combined with the cream.
Carefully pour the bittersweet chocolate/cream mixture on top of the chocolate cabernet torte.
Melt the white chocolate and cream until combined. White chocolate burns easily so it is best to watch it carefully. When melted, drizzle on top of the chocolate ganache. You can do this with a teaspoon or place it in a disposable pastry bag (or zip lock bag with one of the corners “clipped” for form a make shift pastry tub).
To unmold the torte
Take a paring knife and carefully go around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Remove the spring form pan sides. Place a piece of round cardboard (or a clean bottom to another spring form pan) on the top of the torte (the decorative chocolate side).
Now, flip the cake so the card board round and the chocolate decorative side is down. Take off the metal bottom of the torte then peel off the parchment paper.
Now, place another pan or card board round on top of the torte. Flip the torte over again and remove the card board top. The chocolate decorative side should be facing up again.
When cutting the torte, use a warm knife to cut through the chocolate. I place my chef’s knife under hot water then wipe it clean. Make a slice then put under hot water again and wipe. I do this between every slice to make sure the chocolate does not stick to the knife. I usually get 14 slices out of a 10 inch torte. Because it is so rich, you don’t need too large of a slice.
Serve with fresh berries or strawberry/raspberry sauce.