Torta di cioccolata

Wicked.  Luscious.  Chocolate heaven.  Rocky road on steroids.  Sinfully incredible.   Dense and devilishly delicious.   So many ways to describe one amazing dessert.  And one more...YUMMY!

I came across this dessert when I was searching for new ways to jazz up my usual Christmas rocky road recipe.  You see, it is my job each and every Christmas to make rocky road not only because it’s a family tradition and favourite but because everyone else in my family hates doesn’t really cook.   Usually I tend to keep my rocky road recipe simple and classic.  I make sure I use the very best chocolate I can get my hands on and team that with fresh nuts, like hazelnuts or macadamias, shortbread, squishy marshmallows and dried fruit, last year I went for cranberries.  I always find when a recipe is kept simple with few but very high quality ingredients you are guaranteed culinary success!  And when I noticed the ingredient list in this recipe I knew my rocky road revamp had arrived!

I feel as though this recipe is the Italian version of rocky road, it contains almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, shortbread and glace orange, with the only real difference being a lighter, more torte like texture due to the addition of creamed eggs, sugar and butter.  And the lightness really works...don’t get me wrong this does NOT take away from the chocolate factor at all, it just slightly lightens the consistency and incorporates the shortbread a little more than usual rocky road, which I love!  Each bite is just beautiful, you get the rich, dark creaminess of the chocolate, a lighter feel from the buttery shortbread, sweet citrus chewiness from the glace orange and then a massive crunch factor from the roasted nuts.  Rocky Road has had a fabulous makeover and I can't wait to make it again for the family this Christmas!  K xxx

Torta di cioccolata
Adapted from Delicious magazine (issue May 2011)
100g whole blanched almonds
2/3 cup (100g) blanched hazelnuts (see note)
2/3 cup (100g) unsalted pistachio kernels
200g plain butter biscuits or shortbread
2 tbs chopped glace orange
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs, plus 2 extra yolks
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, melted
Cocoa powder, to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly oil the base of a 23cm springform cake pan and line with baking paper. Spread nuts on a baking tray and roast for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool. Place in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs. Remove and set aside, then add the biscuits to the processor and process to coarse crumbs (or place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin).
Combine the nuts, biscuits and glace orange in a bowl. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water, then cool slightly.
Place the eggs, extra yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5-6 minutes until thick and pale. Slowly add the butter with the mixer running. Beat in the cooled chocolate and fold in the biscuit mixture.
Pour into the prepared pan, then refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. Transfer to a serving plate, dust with cocoa and cut into wedges to serve.

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