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Hazelnut Chocolate Mocha Torte
Food & Wine Archives
Mocha Bavarian Cream:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee, preferably espresso
3 to 4 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces (about 1 cup) hazelnuts, ground (do not over-grind)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1. Make the Bavarian Cream: Lightly oil a round, shallow casserole or
approximately 10 inches in diameter. Line it with a layer of plastic wrap large enough to
overhang the edges. In a small cup, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of the milk; set
aside. In another small cup, stir the coffee into the Cognac;
2. In a saucepan, scald the remaining 1 cup milk.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until
light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the scalded milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan
and stir constantly over moderate heat until thick enough to coat the back of a clean
spoon. Do not allow to boil.
4. Transfer the custard to a large bowl and whisk in the reserved
and coffee mixture, beating to thoroughly dissolve the gelatin. Cool to room
temperature, whisking vigorously every couple of minutes to prevent lumping.
5. When the custard is cool but not set, whip the cream until
almost stiff. Whisk a large spoonful of the cream into the custard, then gently fold in
the remaining cream. Carefully pour the Bavarian cream into the prepared plastic-lined
bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until firm. (The cream may be
made up to a day ahead.)
6. Make the Hazelnut Japonaise: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Butter and flour a baking sheet, preferably nonstick, and trace a 10-inch circle onto it,
using cake pan or pot lid as a guide. Blend together the hazelnuts,
1/2 cup of the
superfine sugar and the cornstarch; set aside.
7. Beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the cream of tartar
and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks. Beating constantly, gradually add
the remaining 2 tablespoons superfine sugar and continue to beat until the meringue is
stiff and glossy.
8. Lightly fold (do not stir) the hazelnut mixture into the
meringue. Spread the meringue onto the 10-inch circle on the baking sheet. Bake for 45
or until the meringue is set but still somewhat soft and just beginning to
9. Using a thin metal spatula, loosen the baked meringue layer from
the baking sheet. (The meringue may tear slightly, but do not be dismayed, it will not
show.) If it is too fragile to remove from the sheet, cool it on its baking sheet set on a
wire rack, and then loosen from the sheet. (If preparing a day ahead, store the meringue
in a turned-off oven.)
10. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Génoise: Preheat a second
oven, if you have one, to 350 degrees F.; otherwise, when the meringue is done,
raise the heat to
350 degrees F. Lightly butter a round, flat pan at least 12 inches in diameter (a pizza pan with
a rim, a 12- or 14-inch layer cake pan,
or a similarly sized casserole). Line the bottom
of the pan with a circle of waxed paper or parchment. Lightly butter and flour the paper
and the sides
of the pan.
11. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Skim off
the foam carefully. Cool slightly.
12. Into a small bowl, sift the flour and cocoa together. In a
large bowl, beat the eggs and the granulated sugar until very light, foamy and almost
tripled in volume. Add the vanilla, then lightly but rapidly fold the flour-cocoa mixture
into the eggs. When the ingredients are almost but not quite homogeneous, fold in the
13. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 14
minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched gently. Remove from the oven and cool
briefly in the pan. Invert a pie plate with slanted sides onto a cooling rack, then cover
the pie plate with a kitchen towel. Lightly sprinkle the towel with confectioner's sugar
and invert the génoise onto the towel. Gently peel off the paper and allow the cake to
14. Assemble the torte: Carefully transfer the Japonaise to
a serving platter. Equally carefully, invert the Bavarian Cream over the Japonaise. Peel
the plastic wrap off the Bavarian and trim any ragged meringue edges off the Japonaise.
Top the Bavarian with the génoise, pressing it into a dome shape
15. Make the frosting: Whip the cream until thick but not
stiff, then add the confectioner's sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Whip until quite stiff.
Spread over the torte, flattening the top slightly.
16. To decorate the cake: Using a swivel-bladed peeler,
scrape the chocolate into long shavings. Lightly sprinkle the shavings over the torte and
chill for at least 2 hours. At serving time, dust lightly with confectioner's sugar
sprinkled through a small sieve. 12 servings.
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