Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baking Week Three: White Chocolate

After much hemming and hawing over what to do for white chocolate week, I finally settled on making a white chocolate mousse and layering it with some rich chocolate cake and have some delicious ganache over top.  Once again I turned to my trusty cake collection in search of a recipe.  I thought I was only looking for a basic chocolate cake recipe and instead ran across a recipe for something called a Chocolate Truffle Torte.  It sounded so decadently delicious that I couldn't resist and immediately began baking. 

The Chocolate Truffle Torte has four main components: the cake, the mousse, and white and dark ganache.  You make them in about that order with lots of chilling in between.

One note before you even begin considering making this.  Be sure you have plenty of time.  I recommend one of those lazy Sunday afternoons because by rushing this in an evening after work, things did not set as they should.

I also recommend eating this cake in VERY small slices as it is one of the most decadent things I have eaten.  Oh and use a warm knife to cut it!  

This cake makes one 9 inch torte
 Start by preheating the oven to 300* F

¾ lb. Unsalted butter, cut into 12 (1oz.) pieces
1 ½ lb. Semisweet  chocolate broken into ½ oz. pieces
4 Large eggs
4 Large egg yolks

Melt ½ piece of the butter and use it to coat a 3” deep, 9” springform pan.
Heat 1” water in bottom of double boiler and use it to heat chocolate and remaining butter until it stirs smooth.  Transfer to a 5 qt. steel bowl.

Heat 1” water in bottom of a double boiler.  Put eggs and yolks in the top half and whisk while heating to 110* (2-3 min.)  Be very careful that you don't start cooking your eggs.  I did but it all still came out okay.  Transfer to mixer bowl and use a balloon whip to whisk on high until they become pale. (6-7 minutes)

Fold 1/3 of the eggs into chocolate.  Add remaining egg and fold thoroughly.  Pour into pan and put on a baking sheet on the center rack of oven for 1 hr. 10 min. to 1 hr. 15 min. until it reaches an internal temperature of 170*.  I baked mine for an hour, and it had some dark taste to the edges but as previously discussed my oven cooks quickly.  

Cool in pan 45 minutes.  Press gently on outside edges of cake.  Remove the sides of the pan and refrigerate (on pan bottom) at least 1 hour.  More is probably better.

Now, make the mousse:

6 oz. White chocolate in ½ oz. pieces
2 Tbsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Myers dark rum ( I used vanilla because we don't have rum and it worked well)
½ cup Heavy cream

Make sure to follow directions, my mousse was somewhat watery because I was impatient and rushing things.  Still delicious, but not the same.
Heat 1 “ water in double boiler (don’t simmer).  Put chocolate, water and rum in the top of the double boiler.  Constantly stir with a rubber spatula until smooth while heating.  (about 5-6 min.)  Set aside.

Whip the cream in a well chilled bowl until stiff.  Whip 1/3 of whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until smooth.  Add this mixture to the remaining whipped cream and fold until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes. More is not a bad idea.

After the mousse and cake have chilled sufficiently, spread the mousse over the top and sides of the cake and freeze for at least one hour (again more is not a bad idea).

When the cake is ready to be taken out of the freezer, make the white chocolate ganache:

¾ cup Heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
12 oz. white chocolate , cut into ½ oz. pieces

Heat butter and cream in 1 ½ qt. saucepan over medium heat until boiling.  Put chocolate in a 3 qt. stainless steel bowl and pour boiling cream over the chocolate.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Put one cup of this in the refrigerator to chill for decoration.  Pour the remainder over the cake, covering the top and sides.  

Refrigerate the cake at least 30 minutes, or until the ganaches are ready to be piped on top as decoration.  

The chocolate ganache can be made at any time in the process by following these directions:

¾ cup Heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
9 oz. Semisweet chocolate , cut into ½ oz. pieces

Heat butter and cream in 1 ½ qt. saucepan over medium heat until boiling.  Put chocolate in a 3 qt. stainless steel bowl and pour boiling cream over the chocolate.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  

After the ganache covered cake is chilled and both ganaches are stiff enough to be piped, the suggested decoration is to pipe the white ganache using a medium star tip to make many stars in two horizontal and one vertical line.  Then cover the remainder of the cake with dark chocolate stars.  

You can see my cake for the general lines, however I did not let my ganache sit long enough and it was too soft for stars.  I kind of did a general wavy thing instead in a similar pattern and decorated the sides because I had more ganache to use and they looked a bit messy.    

Finished cake must be kept in the refrigerator.  

It didn't turn out as well balanced between the white and the dark chocolates as I envisioned, but still absolutely delicious!!

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