Flourless Chocolate Truffle Torte/Cake with Chocolate Cream Glaze

I don't know the origin of the recipe, but it's the best chocolate desert ever - hands down. I would expect an 8" cake like this to sell for in excess of $25-$30 dollars - once you taste it you'll know why. Folks typically can't believe there's no flour in it.

This is by far one of the most "troublesome" recipes I deal with - it's complex, but not hard (if that makes any sense). I will say that if you don't have the appropriate equipment to make this it's probably not a good idea to try and improvise as you’ll end up with a(n expensive) mess.

This is a 2 day affair - the cake needs to chill overnight prior to glazing and serving. It doesn't have to be glazed, but it's soooo much better if it is.

Once you've made one it's not so bad, but the first one is a bit frazzling (at least it was for me for me).

Note that this will make a cake for maybe 6 to 8 people (if it's not obvious from the list of ingredients, it's SUPER rich) - I have tried to make "double recipes" (use a 10" spring form pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (covering with foil after the first 5) ) and the end results were less than satisfactory (it ended up rather raw (gummy) in the middle). If you need to feed more people, make multiple 8" cakes.

A word on the chocolate in the recipe:
Find the absolute best that you can - go to a baking supply place and spend a few bucks, or get some bars of the best stuff you can find. Please don't use the "wax turds in a bag" that typically go into tollhouse cookies or you will be rather disappointed in the result (or at least you won't know how truly awesome this cake can be). A clue is "vanillin" - if the chocolate you're considering has vanillin keep looking. In all honesty (and after some real experimentation) the Ghirardelli dark chips are actually quite good! Note that the desert ends up tasting pretty much EXACTLY like the chocolate you put into it, so if you want really dark go really dark - if you like milk chocolate go with that.  I prefer a dark cake with a sweet coating - so I coat with milk chocolate.

There are a couple ways you can change the taste of this recipe by altering the glaze - use milk chocolate instead of the semi-sweet; add finely chopped candied cherries or other fruit to the glaze just before you pour it; add another flavor like peanut butter, or hazelnut, or mint, or cinnamon. Raspberry or orange liqueurs!  Amaretto. Bailey's. Try sprinkling it with chopped nuts, or toffee crumbles. The possibilities are nearly endless!  I buy frozen mixed berries from Sam's Club and microwave them in a small bowl then mash them into sort of a compote - spooned on the top of this it is absolutely awesome.  A stout "true French vanilla" ice cream is another fine option.


Ingredients:
Truffle Torte/Cake:
1lb semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 large eggs

Chocolate Cream Glaze:
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

8" springform pan
larger square or round baking pan to hold the springform pan
parchment paper
heavy-duty tinfoil
cooling rack / cake circle for 8" cake
stand mixer with a large bowl

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (truly pre-heat it)

Boil a pot of water

Line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper, and butter entire inside of the pan (paper and pan sides).
Wrap the outside of the pan in heavy-duty tinfoil (to prevent leakage when in the water bath).


Cut a piece of foil large enough to fit inside the 8" pan, and butter an area equal to that of the pan.


We're going to whip the eggs into a mean froth. In order for that to happen the mixer parts need to be uber-clean and the eggs and bowl need to be warm. I let my eggs sit out an entire morning, and I soak my bowl in the hottest water possible prior to starting - drying it out when I am ready to whip!

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl (from a stand mixer preferably), if you need to, warm the eggs by placing the mixing bowl over simmering water (stirring constantly) until warm to touch. This is CRITICAL - the eggs have to be warm to get them to the right consistency. Obviously, not so warm they start to cook!


Now beat the eggs until at least TRIPLE in volume (about 5-10 minutes). It may take the full 10 minutes, but longer likely means you did not heat the eggs enough. Obviously, with a hand mixer this is going to require a bit of stamina....
   

Here they are when they're done......



Chop or grate chocolate into small pieces and melt with butter (you can do this as the eggs beat) - carefully, or it will burn. Stir until it's very smooth. Just get it hot enough to melt - it does not have to be any hotter.


Next is the most critical part of the process, SLOWLY fold 1/2 of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture, folding with a spatula just until most of the streaks are gone.
Fold the remaining eggs into chocolate just until streaks are gone (the batter will have an odd sort of egg-white consistency).



You CAN do the opposite - put the chocolate into the eggs, but you have to be EXTREMELY slow and systematic - you have to basically drizzle the chocolate into the eggs otherwise it's going to plummet to the bottom of the bowl and you will have to work too hard to incorporate it.  The point here is that you're trying to KEEP the air in the eggs.  TOO MUCH working the batter and you'll end up with a chocolate pancake!!
Here's the completely mixed batter - note how much volume is lost working the chocolate and eggs together! It should fill a typical springform pan about half-way up.


Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, the set the pan into the larger pan (round or rectangular) and fill about 1" with the boiling water.


Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes in the center of the oven.
  The 5 minutes of baking time give you just enough time to lick most of the chocolate mix from the various preparation pieces.

Rest a piece of buttered foil (buttered side down) over top of cake pan. Continue baking for another 10 minutes (for a total of 15 minutes bake time).

Remove cake from oven (the center will still look uncooked) and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  You can tell that it's done - the edges look like cake, or a brownie.  Have a taste - it will tell you what the finished product is going to be like.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The following day run a small, thin bladed knife around inside of pan and remove the springform side. If it's important to have the cake look its best, trim the top so it is level - but the glaze will cover most imperfections.

If you're going to serve it plain, invert the cake on a plate, or if you're going to glaze it, onto cake circle (I don't have one but I use a "fine pitch" cooling rack and it works fine). Remove the bottom of pan and the parchment paper. The entire cake can be smoothed with a (metal) cake spatula dipped in hot water.  Time to glaze it!
While a decent representation, I mixed this one a tad too much IMO. I prefer if they're about 1/4" thicker (= lighter texture) - this one is going to be a "sinker"!

Here's one on the glazing rack - ready to get coated with more chocolate (the white on top is butter from the pan liner)



Chocolate Cream Glaze

NOTE: I have found that if you use milk chocolate for the glaze it's a bit too runny if you follow the recipe. Reduce the corn syrup to 1 TBSP (or eliminate it altogether) and reduce the cream by 1/8 to 1/4 cup.

Chop the chocolate into somewhat small pieces and put it into a medium mixing bowl (or dump in your chips).


Combine the cream and the corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a very light boil. If it's not obvious, stir near constantly when heating

Pour the cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes as the chocolate melts.


Stir gently until smooth.


Cover and let cool until slightly above room temperature. This is the second rather critical step, as the temperature of the glaze (and the temperature of the cake it's going on) will determine how thick it is when it "sets up".  I have found that you will need to let it cool a LONG time. You can chill it in the fridge but you'll want to keep an eye on it.  If it gets too thick simply throw it in the microwave for a few seconds.  Caution: too thin and it's going to run off the cake and make more of a mess when you go to serve it, and too thick and you'll have to work it like frosting to coat the cake.  I still prefer too thick as I like it to set up more like a "shell" on the cake.

Set the cake (on a cake circle or dish the same diameter as the cake) on the wire rack. Put wax paper or a clean cookie sheet under it all - you'll want to catch the run-off glaze. 

Pour glaze over cake - it should level out on the top and completely coat the sides (the excess will run down and into the pan below the rack).

As this cools the glaze will harden somewhat. Here's one in white chocolate with a THICK glaze - you can see where I had to work the sides.
I've gone as far as using a heat gun to smooth the surface.  Here's a cake on ShopVac to reinforce my masculinity.



Here's my twins
  Yes - old pizza boxes make for great transport vehicles.

You MUST use a cake wire to cut this cake!!!! If you attempt to use a knife it's only going to trash the cake and make a mess! You've been warned!

This case does NOT store well - you MUST wrap the exposed sides or it will harden!  It still tastes great - but it dries out rapidly. 
Better to just sit and eat it......