Chocolate Velvet Cream Torte
I created this decadent dessert a long time ago and just recently remembered this recipe when our neighbors decided to get together. I was asked to bring a dessert so I wanted to make it extra special since everyone loved chocolate not just any chocolate but DAARRRKKK chocolate! I modified (simplified) the recipe because it would originally take two days (hence: why I had not made in awhile) to make this Chocolate Torte. Now you can make this crowning achievement in a day!
Baking, building, and styling this masterpiece has several steps you need to complete before you transform this dessert into layer upon layer of edible art:
Make the Almond Pralines and set aside. You can make it several days ahead and store in a dry air-tight container
Make the chocolate curls using premium dark chocolate -- the best seven brands of baking chocolates different grocery and specialty stores are: Baker’s, Ghirardelli, Lindt 99%, Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and Callebaut.
When you are ready to make the Chocolate Torte, take out 4 eggs and put in a bowel so they can get to room temperature...(about 20 minutes)
Almond Praline Topping
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup granulated sugar (I prefer sugar in the raw)
In a dry heavy saucepan cook sugar and almonds over moderately low heat stirring frequently. Stir constantly to coat the almonds when the sugar begins to melt. When all of the sugar has melted and the almonds are slightly toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Working quickly, with a spatula spread mixture onto a plastic cutting board about 1/4 inch thick and cool until set, about 3 minutes. Once the almond pralines have set, crumble the large pieces.
Dark Chocolate Curls
Making the chocolate curls is quite fun. You will need a decorator's scraper or just a never been used "paint scrapper" which I grabbed from the garage. I used Ghirardelli 60% semi-sweet chocolate which works perfect.
1 Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and melt the dark chocolate in microwave or double boiler (12 oz)
2 Gently stir 2 tablespoons butter into the melting chocolate with a rubber spatula to ensure a smooth texture
3 Pour the melted chocolate onto a clean smooth work surface (I use an acrylic cutting board)
4 Using a narrow spatula, spread the chocolate across the surface with even strokes. The chocolate should be of same thickness so it sets evenly.
Allow the chocolate to set firmly at room temperature before starting. Have ready a decorator’s scraper (personally I use a paint scraper) that is thoroughly clean.
5 Start 1 inch from the nearest edge of chocolate. Push the scraper away from you at a 25-degree angle across the surface of the chocolate until a large curl forms.
6 Use the scraper to lift the curl. Gently place the curls on another plastic board to allow them to set.
7 Create different sizes of curls trying to use all of the chocolate on the acrylic board.
8 Now the fun begins! Decorating the top of the chocolate torte when it's ready to have the crowning of chocolate curls.
1 box of Chocolate Extreme Brownie Mix
1 box of Moist Supreme Devil’s Food
1 cup of Dark Chocolate chips
4 tablespoons Salted Butter
2/3 cup Olive Oil
4 large white eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla
¼ cup orange juice (no pulp)
½ cup of whipping cream
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans with a non-stick cooking spray (butter flavored preferred).
Prepare your chocolate torte by putting your first 2 ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil & butter in a microwave-able dish and heat it in microwave for 56 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk the oil & butter, vanilla, orange juice, and cream together. Once cool, whisk the eggs into oil & butter mixture one at a time. Dump the mixture into the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and beat batter with mixer until well-blended. Divide batter between the 2 nine-inch round greased pans and put in oven.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of each cake pan. Put on wire rack to cool. Note: the middle of the torte may sink a little. Don't worry about that it's because its laden with more chocolate. The velvet cream filling will fill it in nicely.
Velvet Cream Filling
¼ cup cream cheese (softened)
3 tablespoons orange juice (no pulp)
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
20 oz whipping cream (1 pint & 4 oz)
For the velvet cream filling, put the first 4 ingredients in a glass bowl and quickly whisk the ingredients until well – blended. Put bowl aside. Pour the whipping cream (20 oz.) in a large mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Slowly blend the cream cheese mixture into the whipping cream until blended.
Assemble the Torte: Carefully remove the cakes from their pans and place one on the cake platter you want to use. Rest one hand lightly on the top of the cake to hold it steady. Slice the cake horizontally through the center with a sharp, long-bladed serrated knife. Carefully separate the layers by placing the top layer aside (Note: I use the cooling wire rake). Spread the cream filling on the bottom layer and lightly sprinkle the almond praline. Carefully, place the top slice on top and then proceed to spread filling and sprinkle praline nut mix. Do the same steps with the other cake to finish making the torte into 4 layers.
Use a narrow spatula to spread cream filling in an even layer over the top using a paddling action so that the cream filling runs smoothly down the sides of the torte. Use generous amount of cream filling and make light, even strokes with the spatula in order to cover the sides cleanly without spreading crumbs unto the finished torte.
Decorate the sides of the torte with the remaining almond praline by lifting nuts onto sides of the torte with a large narrow spatula, pressing gently so the nuts stays in place.
Garnish the top of the torte using dark chocolate curls.
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