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Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

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“This cake is my favorite way to eat chocolate.  It is easy to make and contains only three essential ingredients: the very best chocolate, for a full, rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture; unsalted butter to soften the chocolate and release the flavor; and eggs to lighten it.  The result is like the creamiest truffle wedded to the purest chocolate mousse.  It is chocolate at its most intense flavor and perfect consistency.” -Rose Levy Beranbaum, creator of the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

That pretty much says it all!  I would like to add that although it seems there are many steps to the recipe, it is very simple to make.  Think of it this way: all you have to do is melt the butter and chocolate together, beat the eggs to death and fold them into the chocolate mixture and bake.  The reason the instructions are so long is that they are very detailed so you are sure to have success with this cake.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. semisweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8″x2″ cake pan and place a circle of parchment or wax paper in the bottom, then butter the top of it.

In a large metal bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering, water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), combine the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally until smooth and melted. (The mixture can be melted in the microwave on high power, stirring every 15 seconds. Remove when there are still a few lumps of chocolate and stir until fully melted.)

In a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until tripled in volume and soft peaks form when the beater is raised, about 5 minutes.

Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remaining. Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth with the spatula. Set the pan in a larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake 5 minutes. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and bake 10 minutes. The cake will look soft, but this is as it should be.

Let the cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about three hours.

To unmold, have ready a serving plate and a flat plate at least 8 inches in diameter, covered with plastic wrap. Wipe the sides of the pan with a hot, damp towel, then run a thin metal knife around the sides of the cake. Submerge the bottom in hot water for 10-20 seconds, then invert onto the plastic wrap-lined plate. Remove the parchment from the bottom, then invert onto the serving plate and peel off the plastic wrap.

If desired, you can spread good-quality raspberry or strawberry jam over the top of the cake.  (I have an excellent recipe for raspberry jam here.)  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.  Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe source: The Cake Bible

***Reminder***

Today is the day to return to the Postcard Project spreadsheet and make sure you report how many pieces of mail you sent this week.  I will be drawing only from the names that have a number in the “completed” column for this week (not last week).  I’m SO thrilled that so many more have signed up and hope you will be able to return to report your goal completed before I draw for the cookies tonight at midnight. Good luck and thank you!

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Brownie Mania: Mocha-Frosted Kahlua, Peanut Butter Truffle & Chocolate Caramel Walnut

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I went a bit brownie crazy early in the week and baked five 9×13-sized pans (5 pans but only three kinds) of them.  I mailed two pans to a friend serving in Iraq (this required some mad packing skills & ingenuity on my part) for his birthday and the rest were frozen* until ready to use for two potlucks we were attending this weekend.

Here are the brownies I made (I dare you not to get a toothache after reading them): Mocha-Frosted Kahlua Brownies, Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies and Chocolate Caramel Walnut Brownies.

Although I’m partial to the Kahlua Brownies b/c they are my own recipe, I have to say that the Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies are my new favorite (yes, of all time!).  The Chocolate Caramel Walnut Brownies are very decadent, but somehow not as refined (if a brownie can be called refined) as the former two–they remind me more of a juvenile treat but this doesn’t keep them from being outstanding.  Brownies with thick, gooey caramel and dripping with chocolate chips and walnuts?  What could be wrong with that?

I have to apologize to all the people who are going to be aghast that I dared to use brownie mix instead of measuring out flour & sugar, but I just prefer the mix, people!  I’ve made scratch brownies and I just don’t like them as much. I guess I should try some more recipes before I set my mind against from-scratch brownies but why mess with perfection when it’s this easy?  If you’re passionate about this subject and have a great recipe that you think would change my mind, please share!

Kahlua Brownies
These brownies are best-sellers at the Flying Pig Gift Boutique.  It doesn’t matter what kind of outlandish treats I bring in to sell, if the brownies are sitting there alongside them, the other stuff only goes after the brownies are sold out.  Which never takes very long.

Brownies
1 box fudge brownie mix
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup Kahlua

Frosting
2 Tbsp. Kahlua
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

Make the brownies: mix up everything, spread in a 9×13 pan (grease the bottom only) and bake at 350 for however long the box says.  Don’t overbake unless you like dry brownies.  Cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

Make the frosting: Microwave the Kahlua for 30 seconds or until boiling (I use a glass 1-cup measuring cup and fill it 1/2 way to the 1/4 cup line).  Stir in the instant coffee and place in the freezer to cool.  Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and then give it another 30 seconds, stirring again.  It should be melted but if not, continue this cycle in 30 second intervals.  Once smooth, set aside to cool.  Cream the butter then beat in the cooled chocolate.  Last, add the coffee mixture and beat it until everything is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl.  Spread over the cooled brownies.

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies
Recipe from Betty Crocker with instructions modifed by me.

1 9×13 pan of brownies, cooled (if using a mix, be sure to substitute melted butter for the oil)

Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. milk

Topping
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Directions:
Beat filling ingredients until smooth and spread evenly over the cooled brownies.  An offset spatula is almost required for this task as the filling is thick and hard to spread.

Microwave the topping ingredients in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until smooth (should only take a couple times).  Cool 10 minutes, then spread over the filling layer. Again, I would never try this without an offset spatula.  The layer has to be spread very very thin and I can’t imagine doing it without one.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before cutting–you want the chocolate on top to be hardened so that the brownies cut easily.  I cut mine frozen and that worked fine.

Chocolate Caramel Walnut Brownies
Recipe from the back of a generic sweetened condensed milk label

2 boxes of fudge brownie mix

Caramel Topping
1/2 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups walnuts
2 cups chocolate chips

Prepare the brownies according to package directions (except substituting melted butter for the oil) and stick them in the oven to bake according to the package directions.  As soon as they’re in, start the caramel topping.

Melt the butter in a heavy 3 quart saucepan.  Stir in sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Blend in sweetened condensed milk, continue stirring, and heat to 245 degrees (approximately 10 minutes). I heated mine to 250 degrees to no ill result.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Let caramel cool while brownies finish baking.

Pour the caramel over the brownies when they come out of the oven.  Scatter the walnuts & chocolate chips over the top and let cool completely before attempting to cut into bars.

*Brownies freeze extremely well!  They retain their moisture and texture perfectly and are never any worse for wear after defrosting.  They are a perfect make-ahead treat in any instance when you need to make-ahead or just want to make something to keep on hand in case of emergency.

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