Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My husband, "Le Chef"

You are looking at a luscious Pecan Mocha Torte. At least it LOOKS luscious. It was made by my husband for a friendly contest at work for desserts. He came home with a prize for most esthetically pleasing. He said it didn't taste bad, either. Between the two of us, we have made this torte 3 times for contests and auctions, but have never tried it before! The children are starting to protest that every time we make one, it goes out the door for someone else. So we will make another this weekend and actually taste it.

My sweetie is quite the culinary artist. It's really a fair trade if he cooks dinner and I get to clean up the kitchen. The "clean as you go" method he learned in his long-ago career has been forgotten, but man, does he know how to cook!

Mocha Pecan Torte
Source: Better Homes & Gardens cookbook
PREHEAT: 350 degrees

1 c. butter
1-1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces
6 eggs
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. pecans, toasted
1 c. sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. coffee liqueur or strong coffee
1 recipe "mocha glaze" below
2 ounces white chocolate, melted
3/4 chopped pecans, toasted

1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease paper and dust with cocoa powder; set aside. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine butter and chocolate. Stir over low heat until low heat until melted and smooth; set aside.
2. Place eggs and sugar in a blender container or a food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add 1-1/2 c. of the toasted pecans; blend or process about 1 minute or until nearly smooth. Add melted chocolate mixture, cocoa powder, and liqueur; blend or process just until combined. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until sides are puffed and set about 2 inches in from the pan. Place cake on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Loosen sides of cake, remove sides of pan. Invert cake onto rack. Remove parchment paper. Place rack with cake on a baking sheet. Pour warm mocha glaze over cake, covering top and sides.
4. Pour melted baking bar into a plastic starch bag. Snip one corner of the bag to make a small opening. Starting at the center of the cake, pipe a spiral to the outer edge. Draw 8 to 10 lines with a toothpick from the center of the cake to the edge at regular intervals to achieve a spider web effect. If necessary, chill cake until glaze is partially set, but still sticky (5 to 10 minutes). Press nuts onto sides of cake. Transfer cake to plate and refrigerate. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Mocha Glaze:
In a medium heavy saucepan, heat 3 T. butter and 1 T. light-colored corn syrup over low heat, stirring occasionally until butter melts. Add one 6-ounce package (1 c.)semi-sweet chocolate pieces; still until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add 3 T. butter and 2 T. coffee liqueur or strong coffee; whisk until smooth.

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