Biscuit for Mocha Cream Torte
- 3/8 lb. butter, softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 6 eggs at room temp.
- 1 c. flour
- 1 ½ tsp. grated lemon peel
- ¾ c. corn starch
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ¾ c. rum
Cream butter & sugar. Blend in 1 tbsp. flour and lemon peel. Beat in egg yolks, then flour, corn starch, baking powder. Beat egg whites separately and add gradually. Bake in middle of pre-heated 350° oven for 60 min., or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan. After slicing, moisten with rum. For 5 layers, double the Morton recipe for mocha cream. Cover with melted chocolate (Belgian?) and decorate with toasted almonds.
See also Mocha Cream.
CAUTION: difficult to make!
- 3/8 lb. butter, softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 6 eggs
- ¾ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour (4.5 oz)
- 2 tsp grated orange peel
- ¾ cup corn starch (3.125 oz)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup rum
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 8 oz high quality dark chocolate
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- pinch of salt:
- About two hours before starting, take butter out of the fridge, cut into chunks and let soften. Alternatively, microwave briefly or soften with beaters.
- Then, separate the eggs, and leave on the counter to warm up. Room temperature eggs beat better, but they are easier to separate cold.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: Flour, corn starch, baking power, and salt.
- Zest an orange, and set aside. Finer zest is better.
- Prepare a springform pan by buttering the inside, then dusting with flour. Soak two old cotton dish towels in water, fold to the height of the springform pan, and wrap around the pan. Use a loop of kitchen string to hold in place. It's VERY IMPORTANT to use natural fibres because it's going in the oven. This step ensures the cake rises evenly. Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Wipe out a deep bowl or stand mixer bowl and beaters with a lemon wedge (this removes and soap or fat residue that inhibits the foaming of the eggs). Then, whip the egg whites, adding the cream of tartar and 1/4 cup of the sugar as you go. For help on how to best whip egg whites, see here. Transfer the egg whites to a large bowl, so that you can use the beaters and same bowl for creaming butter.
- Cream the butter and then add the sugar and orange zest. For help on how to best cream butter and sugar, see here. When the butter is creamed, add the vanilla.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, a third at a time, until just combined - some streaks of flour may remain.
- Fold the egg whites into the batter, a third a time. Most cake recipes would say until just combined, but the cake is being moistened by rum anyway, and it helps to combine the dough a touch more than usual so the structure is consistent when slicing.
- Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan. Ensure than the batter is evenly distributed, and gets to the edges. An offset spatula is helpful for this, if you have one. Put on a baking sheet in the top half of the oven and cook for about 60 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cake cool for at least 4 hours before slicing, and ideally overnight.
- Take your time. This is more art than science.
- Use the sharpest knife you can find. A chef's knife works pretty good - the curve and the wide blade help. I think using a cleaver style knife might cause problems.
- Place the bottom of the springform pan on something small and round, like a trivet, so it can be easily rotated.
- Stick a piece of masking tape under the pan at one point, so it sticks out.
- Start by make a shallow cut all the way around the edge. about 1/8 of an inch below the top of the cake. The first slice is quite difficult, because the edge of the cake isn't necessarily vertical and it makes it hard to judge. You may want to measure and use toothpicks as a guide, and possibly take a very thin slice off the top to level it out.
- Then, rotating the cake, cut towards the centre of the cake. You want to make "pull" cuts with the knife instead of "push" cuts. The hard part is keeping the knife level. If the knife looks level (the top is flat), it is actually tilted up (unless you have a fancy Japanese knife), and the slices will tend to dome in the middle. In general, this is easier to judge on a knife with a wide blade.
- Once you have cut through the slice, rotate the cake so that the masking tape is facing you. Placing your knife and another knife or spatula under the cake, transfer the slice to a plate or flat surface. The masking tape ensures that the slices "line up" with each other.
- The last slice is also a bit tough to do, and I think it's probably best to leave it thicker. Probably 9 slices is a good number.
Assembling (under Construction):
Place the cake onto a metal rack on a baking sheet. Chop chocolate, and place chopped chocolate into a medium-large bowl. Pour the heavy cream into a pot and add the pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, and pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir vigourously to combine. Let it cool somewhat, then pour over the cake. The extra chocolate will fall through to the baking sheet, which is fine. Refridgerate the cake to set the ganache. Toast the almonds, and then press the hot almonds into the ganache, melting it slightly and allowing them to stick. Serve with whipping cream.
- I haven't tried this at a temp of 325, but I'm confident it will work better.
- I don't know what the appropriate amount of salt is. 1/2 tsp is a conservative guess.
- I don't know how much orange zest is appropriate. Maybe this should be increased.
- I like the idea of swapping the rum out with drambuie or Grand Marnier.
- Can you replace the corn starch with almond flour?
- Should the cake be put on a sheet of parchment paper?