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Chocolate Torte with Calvados-Poached Figs

Chocolate Torte with Calvados-Poached Figs

Poach the figs in Calvados until just softened: Overcooking or intense boiling will render them a tough instead of lush addition to this chocolate torte.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, divided, plus more for pan
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1¼ cups blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Figs and assembly

  • ⅔ cup Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 2 cups dried black Mission figs or pitted prunes (about 8 oz.), halved if large

Recipe Preparation

Cake

  • Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Butter a 9”-diameter springform pan or cake pan and line with a round of parchment. Butter parchment and sprinkle pan with superfine sugar.

  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until smooth; let cool slightly.

  • Pulse hazelnuts, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and ¼ cup superfine sugar in a food processor until finely ground; sift through a medium-mesh sieve. Pulse any larger pieces again in food processor, if needed

  • Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat 1 cup butter and remaining ¾ cup superfine sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; mix in melted chocolate. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.

  • Using clean beaters and with mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.

  • Using a rubber spatula, fold ⅓ of whites into chocolate batter to loosen, then fold remaining whites into batter just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

  • Bake cake 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30–40 minutes longer. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool 30 minutes before unmolding to cool completely.

  • DO AHEAD: Cake can be baked 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Figs and assembly

  • Bring Calvados, granulated sugar, and ⅔ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add figs, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until figs are very soft, 20–25 minutes. Let cool.

  • Serve cake with figs and syrup.

  • DO AHEAD: Figs can be poached 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Recipe by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer,Photos by Hirsheimer Hamilton

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 610 Fat (g) 39 Saturated Fat (g) 18 Cholesterol (mg) 175 Carbohydrates (g) 60 Dietary Fiber (g) 6 Total Sugars (g) 47 Protein (g) 9 Sodium (mg) 230Reviews Section

From Bon Appétit Magazine, December 2013 Bon Appétit Magazine, December 2013

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WHO: TheRunawaySpoon is based in Memphis, Tennessee, and blogs at www.therunawayspoon.com. She wrote, "I think I am like most people: somewhere in the middle between food snob and food schlub. Just being in the kitchen makes me happy."

WHAT: Delicate, crumbly little thumbprints that are the perfect combination of sweet and savory—a cheese plate wrapped into one crunchy little morsel.

HOW: A simple food processor dough yields tender, buttery coins flecked with blue cheese and black pepper. Good-quality fig jam is crucial here if you can't find one, quince or pear jam also work well.

WHY WE LO VE IT : TheRunawaySpoon came up with these as an easy hors d'oeuvre she could make on the fly when invited to friends' houses. Might we suggest that you make two batches?


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