Servings: 10 to 12
Prep Time: 1 hour?
Source: Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich
There are lots of toasted pecans in this all-in-one-bowl bittersweet chocolate torte. It’s good on its own, but I often pass a bowl of plain whipped cream; Mocha or Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream are also good here. For the best flavor (and convenience!), make the torte at least a day, if not two, ahead.
1 cup (3.5 ounces) pecan halves
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66% to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into chunks
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
Generous 1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cold large eggs
Powdered sugar for dusting
Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream, optional
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and bake them for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are fragrant and taste toasty. Scrape the nuts onto a plate and let cool
completely. Turn the oven temperature up to 375°F.
Pulse the pecans with the flour in the food processor until finely ground.
Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, preferably stainless steel, set it in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (see Melting Chocolate My Way, page 97), and stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove the bowl from the water bath and stir the chocolate until it is completely melted and smooth.
Add the butter, granulated sugar, and salt and beat with the electric mixer at medium speed until the butter is completely melted and the mixture thickens and lightens slightly in color. Beat in the eggs one by one, then beat at high speed (medium speed in a heavy-duty stand mixer) for a minute or two, or until the batter is fluffy and lightened in color. Stir in the pecan mixture.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted about 11/2 inches from the side of the pan comes out clean; the center will still be gooey.
Set the pan on a rack to cool. Slide a thin knife or a small metal spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake and allow the thin crust on top to sink (slightly) as the cake cools. Let cool completely. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter. The torte can be kept at room temperature, covered or under a cake dome, for at least 3 days, or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving.
Sift a little powdered sugar over the top to highlight the crackled surface. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (with the skins rubbed off) make a nice changeup for the pecans. You can grate the zest of 1 orange into the batter, if you like; then stir it in. Top each slice with whipped cream (plain, mocha, or white chocolate – see pages 130-133) and grate a little cinnamon over the top of the cake and cream. In addition to the cinnamon, try a pinch of ground ancho or other chile.
Flourless Chocolate Pecan Torte
You can simply omit the flour without substituting anything for it, or you can increase the nuts by an ounce or so. The texture of the torte will be a bit nubbier, as the flour provides a little creaminess.