Desserts

Mocha Pecan Torte Anita & Warren

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
3/8 pound (1 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup ground pecans
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar

Glaze:
10 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, melted
2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch diameter cake pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment or waxed paper. Heat chocolate and butter in top of double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted. Mix in chocolate, nuts and flour. Using clean, dry beaters, beat whites with cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until whites are stiff but not dry. Gently fold 1/3 of whites into chocolate; fold in remaining whites. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.)

Glaze: Place milk chocolate in bowl. Bring cream to simmer in heavy, medium saucepan. Stir in coffee and corn syrup. Pour over chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. (If chocolate does not melt, set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and stir until smooth.) Refrigerate glaze until thickened to spreading consistency, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, run knife between cake and pan edges. To level cake, press raised rim of cake firmly. Invert cake onto 8-inch cardboard round; discard parchment. Spread 1 & 1/4 cups glaze over top and sides of cake, smoothing out any imperfections and cracks. Let stand 10 minutes. Reheat remaining glaze over saucepan of barely simmering water until just warm to the touch. Strain glaze over top of the cake. Using a dry, metal spatula, spread to edges, allowing some to flow over sides; work as little as possible. Let stand 5 minutes. Press chopped pecans into sides of cake. Let stand until glaze is set. Spoon melted bittersweet chocolate into parchment cone with small opening. Spoon 2-ounces melted chocolate in circles atop cake, alternating bittersweet and milk chocolate, and spacing 1/2 inch apart. Gently draw knife through circles from center of cake to edge; repeat several times, moving around circle to form web design. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead.) Serve dessert at room temperature.



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