St-Emilion au chocolat torte
- April 2006
- Serves 8
- Takes 40 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake, plus chilling and cooling
This torte recipe is based on a French classic, the St-Emilion au chocolat. The creamy chocolate mixture is set in a crisp almond tart shell to make a very special dinner party dessert.
- 47.8g (25.5g saturated)
- 62.7g (37.7g sugars)
- 200g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 50g ground almonds
- 120g chilled butter, diced
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg, separated
For the filling
- 250g plain chocolate (with no less than 70% cocoa solids), broken up
- 250ml double cream
- 2 eggs, separated
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 75g ratafias (round Italian biscuits, from most supermarkets)
- 21/2 tbsp amaretto liqueur
- Home-made chocolate curls or grated chocolate
- Cocoa powder
- Mix the plain flour and salt in a large bowl and add the almonds. Rub in the chilled butter to make fine crumbs. Add the caster sugar and mix well. Mix in the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons iced water and bring the mixture together into a ball – work it as little as possible so you don’t end up with tough pastry. Flatten the pastry slightly, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper, as thinly as possible. Line a deep, round, fluted 23cm tart tin with the pastry, using the paper to help lift and upturn it. Don’t worry if the pastry breaks – it’s easy to patch up with your fingers. Trim the edges to neaten. Line with more baking paper and some rice and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the rice and paper, brush the pastry base with some of the egg white and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up, then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1.
- Meanwhile, make the torte filling. Melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and set aside for about 15 minutes to cool.
- In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then whisk in 2 tablespoons caster sugar to make a loose meringue.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar for a few minutes, until thick and creamy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and sugar and mix well to combine. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the meringue mixture.
- Spread a little of the filling in the pastry case. Toss 8 ratafias at a time in the amaretto, drain off any excess and arrange the ratafias on top of the filling. Pour the rest of the filling over the ratafias and bake in the oven for 15 minutes – when you remove the torte from the oven, it will still be a little wobbly in the centre. Set aside to cool and firm up.
- Remove the torte from the tin and top with chocolate curls or grated chocolate. Dust with cocoa powder and cut into slices. Serve with softly whipped cream, if you like.
This torte will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
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