It is the CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) and CCU’s (Caked Crusader’s Uncle) birthday; I have mentioned in the past they are twins...and they still are! Recently, the CCD has discovered a love of mocha coffee – the sort that’s more like a dessert with cream and chocolate and a small dash of coffee. So I thought I’d use those flavours for a dessert.
This is the type of recipe that looks intimidating; firstly because I always think tortes seem difficult – even though they’re not; maybe it’s because we’re used to seeing them in patisserie windows that we assume they must be hard work. Secondly, there are three distinct stages to making the dish and, while not remotely taxing, you do have to plan ahead to allow appropriate cooling/setting time between each stage. I broke the dish down into stages and made the biscuit base one evening, the chocolate baked mousse layer the next morning and the coffee cream layer that same evening.
I didn’t taste this one as my loathing for coffee is only equalled by my loathing for lemon, but the feedback was positive with one eater rating it as an all time great bake! A recurring comment was that it tasted like something you’d buy from a high end patisserie.
The hazelnut biscuit base was crisp and crumbly and surprised me by being reasonably easy to cut though: it didn’t shatter all over the work top and stayed in one piece!
The rich chocolate baked ganache middle layer was the most commented on for it’s intense flavour and smooth, velvety texture.
The top layer of set coffee cream was a big hit with the CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma). It has a strong punch of coffee but is light and whippy in texture.
Happy birthday CCD and CCU!
For the biscuit base:
100g chopped hazelnuts – I bought ready chopped
125g unsalted butter, diced
25g light brown sugar
40g caster sugar
125g plain flour
1 ½ tablespoons cornflour
For the chocolate filling:
400ml double cream
100ml single cream
300g dark chocolate, broken up into squares – I used Green & Blacks
100g milk chocolate, broken up into squares – I used Green & Blacks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon very strong black coffee (I made up some espresso and used it for this stage and the coffee cream)
For the coffee cream:
2 leaves gelatine
250ml whipping cream
4 tablespoons icing sugar
5 tablespoons very strong black coffee
200ml double cream
75g chopped hazelnuts
Flaked chocolate – however much you choose!
Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/340°F/Gas mark 3.
Line the inside of a 23cm round springform tin with baking paper.
Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and blitz until combined into a crumbly texture.
Pat into the base of the cake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the base is golden. Mine took 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. You can make this a day ahead of the other two stages.
Reduce the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/320°F/Gas mark 2.5
Now make the chocolate filling: pour the double and single creams into a saucepan and bring just to the boil.
Remove from the heat and tip in the chocolate.
Stir until melted – I used a silicon whisk to do this as I find it is quicker and produces a lovely thick, glossy chocolate.
Whisk in the eggs, vanilla and coffee.
Pour the filling over the biscuit base and level.
Bake for at least 20 minutes or until the chocolate is set but still has a wobble in the centre. Mine took much longer – about 45 minutes so don’t worry if yours needs longer; once it’s had 30 minutes check it every 5-7 minutes.
Leave to cool completely, still in the tin, on a wire rack.
Now make the coffee cream: Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold in the icing sugar.
Heat the coffee until it feels hot but don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat.
Squeeze all the water out of the gelatine leaves and whisk into the coffee.
Whisk the coffee mixture into the cream.
Spread over the top of the chocolate layer and refrigerate to set, ideally overnight.
On the day you will be serving the torte, whip the cream and pipe a border around the top of the torte.
Scatter over the hazelnuts and chocolate.
Serve in generous slices.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.