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Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with
Poached Pears

 

 

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Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with
Poached Pears

Bon Appetit October 1980

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription 

Poached Pears:
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Three 1-inch strips lemon peel
One 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
One 1-inch piece vanilla bean, split, or
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe pears
1/2 lemon

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon pear liqueur
3 egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup (3 ounces) husked hazelnuts,
toasted and ground
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Ganache:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
15 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pear liqueur
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) husked hazelnuts,
toasted and chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped

For pears, combine water, sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean in heavy large saucepan. Cook over low heat, swirling pan occa- sionally, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Peel pears; halve lengthwise and rub with cut lemon (do not
core). Add to simmering liquid. Cover and poach until tender, about
15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Let pears cool in
poaching liquid.

For torte
, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8-inch round cake pan
with circle of parchment paper. Butter and flour paper, shaking out
excess. Bring water to boil in bottom of double boiler; turn off heat.
Combine chocolate and butter in top of double boiler and stir until
melted and smooth. Let cool.
Remove pears from poaching liquid using slotted spoon. Measure 1/3
cup liquid into medium mixing bowl; reserve remaining liquid. Add egg
yolks and beat until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Gently
stir in melted chocolate and 1 tablespoon liqueur. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff but
not dry. Combine ground hazelnuts and flour. Fold whites into yolks
alternately with hazelnut mixture, ending with whites. Pour into pre-
pared pan. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake until torte
is puffed and tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 to 30
minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Unmold; wrap in plastic bag and
refrigerate.

For ganache
, bring 1 1/2 cups cream to boil in heavy saucepan.
Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter; stir occasionally
until melted and smooth. Strain into bowl. Stir in liqueur and 2 table-
spoons poaching liquid. Refrigerate until thickened, 2 to 3 hours.
Place torte on work surface. Beat 1/3 of ganache in small bowl until
fluffy. Spread over top and sides of torte.
Core pears and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange on top of ganache
cut side down with small ends facing center. Place torte on rack and
set over jelly roll pan. Spoon remaining 2/3 of ganache over torte,
covering completely. Transfer to serving plate.
Decorate serving plate with chopped hazelnuts and tiny rosettes of
whipped cream. Chill several hours. Let stand at room temperature
at least 30 minutes before serving.
 

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