Dark chocolate mousse torte

Truffle_Torte_1668

This very special dessert cake contains a double helping of dark chocolate, for good measure. Bound with ground hazelnuts, this torte is also flourless, so it makes a delectable gluten-free pudding option, as well.

Serves 12

150g quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

100ml strong brew coffee

150g unsalted butter, softened

75g caster sugar

4 large free-range eggs, separated

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

150g ground toasted hazelnuts (or almonds, if preferred)

12 toasted hazelnuts, reserved for decoration

50g quality dark chocolate, grated, to decorate

Dark chocolate mousse:

150g quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

30g unsalted butter, cubed

4 large free-range eggs, separated

For the cake, preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 22cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Place the chocolate and coffee in a bowl set over a saucepan one-quarter full of simmering water to melt. Or microwave in short bursts. Stir until smooth then set aside. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the chocolate mixture and then stir in the ground hazelnuts.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. Pour mixture into prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove to cool in the tin.

For the mousse, place chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan one-quarter full of simmering water to melt. Or microwave in short bursts. Stir until smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring to combine. In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. The mixture may appear to split but keep folding and it will come together.

To assemble, pour the mousse onto the cooled cake while it is still in the tin. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

To serve, release the spring and remove the side of the cake tin. Use a small knife to help ease the paper away from the cake. Peel off the paper and discard. Use a hot knife to cut the torte into wedges. Decorate with reserved hazelnuts and grated chocolate.