Chocolate Pecan Torte
1/2 cup of pecans; toasted
1/4 cup of All-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
4 large Eggs; separated, and at room temperature
6 ounces semisweet; chopped (I prefer Ghirardelli)
3/4 cup of unsalted butter; (1 1/2 sticks) cut into pieces (plus additional for greasing pan)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
Cocoa powder (for dusting pan)
Place oven rack in center position and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread nuts on shallow baking sheet, toast in oven until deep golden brown about 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer nuts to food processor or blender, add flour and salt, and grind the mixture to fine.
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Generously butter bottom and side of an 9-inch spring-form or cake pan, line bottom with a round of parchment paper, butter the parchment paper. Dust pan with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
Melt chocolate and butter in double-boiler or stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Beat, using an electric mixer or by hand, until pale and thick, about 4 to 5 minutes (6 to 8 minutes by hand).
Beat in vanilla and liqueur, if desired.
Gently fold in chocolate and nut mixtures.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, using mixer with whisk attachment or by hand, until foamy.
Add cream of tartar, whisking until soft peaks form.
Gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, whisking until whites just hold stiff peaks.
Whisk about 1/4 of the egg whites into chocolate mixture, to lighten.
Using a large spatula, gently but thoroughly, fold in remaining egg whites. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake until tester or toothpick inserted in center of torte comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it; about 35 to 45 minutes.
Let torte cool completely in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. (Torte will sink in the center as it cools leaving a raised crust around the edge along with some cracking. Level top of torte by lightly pressing edges and any cracked pieces back into the cake as it cools)
When torte has completely cooled, run a thin knife around edge of torte to loosen, as necessary.
Remove sides of spring form and/or invert pan to unmold.
Remove parchment liner from bottom and turn torte upright on a platter.
Dust torte with powdered sugar and serve. Icing with a thin layer of chocolate icing if desired.
Pairs Well With
A yummy dessert.