Having had such success with my husband's birthday cake, I decided to unearth my ice cream cookbook and find a frozen treat for my own upcoming cake-day. I made this lovely white chocolate and brownie torte a few years ago when I first got the book, and it was okay, but as much as I like white chocolate, since then I've been educated about what real chocolate is.
It started with a tour of the Scharrfenberger chocolate factory out in San Franciso (sadly, no longer in production there) when we went to visit my brother-in-law. We got to taste most of their grades of chocolate at the end, and I found myself drawn to the darkest ones, despite a lifelong hatred of "dark" chocolate. Turns out, cheap "dark" chocolate doesn't count.
So, needing a canvas this week for a stencil, I hit upon the idea of making the ice cream torte again, but this time, with the good stuff.
Splurge on the best chocolate you have available to you for this. I promise you won't regret it.
As for the baking part of the challenge, well, I did bake the brownies for the base. Nothing special there, but the recipe would have you buying prepackaged brownies instead!
And for the stenciling part, well, it could have gone better, but I'm not that fussed about it. I definitely dusted the torte with far, far more confectioner's sugar than it needed, which left me with poorly-defined edges when I lifted it off. As a technique, though, I see a lot of potential, so I'll probably try it again with a stiffer stencil (I cut mine from scrap paper) and a lighter hand with the sugar.
Bittersweet Chocolate Torte
(adapted from The Ice Cream Book)
- 10 oz good-quality bittersweet or other dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao)
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- ~ 8 oz. brownies, crumbled
In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt the chocolate with 2/3 cup of the cream, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, beat the remaining cream on high speed until it forms peaks. Lighten the chocolate mixture by stirring a 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into it, then add the chocolate to the rest of the whipped cream and fold gently to combine. (Only mix the two together until you no longer see streaks--overblending will deflate the whipped cream and give the final torte a dense, heavy texture.)
Pour the filling over the base and spread evenly. Freeze overnight; allow to soften 30-45 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
To decorate as I did....