Forget chocolate cake, at our house St. Valentine’s Day torte is the desert of the hour. This fabulous recipe came from a dear relative of ours who passed away some 30 years ago. St. Valentine’s Day chocolate torte was her special Valentine’s Day recipe and continues to be a family tradition.
Making Valentine’s Day chocolate torte is neither fast, cheap, or easy to make. But oh, is it worth it.
6 ounces of sweet European bar chocolate, broken into pieces
3/4 cup of sweet, salted butter
3/4 cup of fine granulated sugar
6 ounces blanched almonds, grated finely
6 eggs, separated
16 ounces of sweet European bar chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 cup heavy whip cream
1/2 cup rich coffee
To prepare this torte, you will also need a double boiler and an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. This special pan has a clip that allows you to remove the sides of the pan after baking.
Melt the 6 ounces of sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cream butter while gradually adding the granulated sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Fold in cooled melted chocolate, then add the grated almonds, mixing well.
In a separate bowl, beat the 6 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the creamed chocolate mixture. Pour into a well buttered spring form pan, and gently level with a thin spatula.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a damp, folded bath towel. Let stand for 15 minutes before removing the torte from the spring form pan. Cool on cake rack for 24 hours before frosting.
Combine the 16 ounces of sweet chocolate with the cold coffee, and melt in a double boiler. When the chocolate has completely melted, separate the double boiler and set aside the pan containing the melted chocolate.
Switch out the water in the boiler with cold water, and replace the pan containing the melted chocolate back over the cold water. Slowly add the heavy cream to the chocolate mixture, and gently stir until the mixture is quite thick. This may take between 10 to 15 minutes.
The frosting is poured over the torte like a glaze, using a thin spatula to evenly distribute the frosting along the sides. Allow to firm over night before serving. Decorate the center of the torte with chocolate curls if desired.
Makes 16 servings.