Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe & Elah Tree are hosting a cooking challenge. Naturally, I’m participating. Because I have nothing else to do with my time. Ha! But seriously – I’m loving this because it gives me some inspiration and I get to connect with other people who make really delicious things and who actually know how to cook. Each month, we are given a main ingredient and are to create a dish around that. This month was semi-sweet chocolate. Umm….kinda my favorite thing of all time.
My mind began to go crazy with all of the possibilities but I never could settle on something. Nothing seemed just right. Except for my mama’s go-to dessert recipe: triple chocolate torte. This torte is the stuff of legend. Seriously. My mom is no pastry chef but she has a knack for making seriously yummy things. Each year, at a local charity dinner, she makes this dessert to auction off. And it sells for hundreds of dollars. Every time. And it’s worth it.
One thing I love most is its simplicity – I’ve been testing my culinary limits recently (which don’t reach very far, I’m discovering) and really branching out with unique ingredients and flavors but I thought it my be a good time to head back to my roots for a bit: plain ol’ good food. Nothing special, nothing particularly fancy or difficult, but something people will talk about. (And pay hundreds of dollars for…)
The premise of this recipe is simple: a brownie topped with chocolate. See, simple. But something about the combination and this recipe in particular results in something magical. And it’s very versatile: I made 6 mini-tortes but Mama usually does one 9-inch pan or 2 stacked on top of each other. You can do minis in a muffin tin, a square, whatever. And garnish however you like. Sometimes she adds a little extract to the chocolate frosting (mint, orange, pomegranate, etc) to give a more exotic flavor, or tops with fresh strawberries and cream, or a drizzle of white chocolate. Really, you can go anywhere with this.
Since the challenge was semi-sweet chocolate, I stuck with that theme and did chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate. I think I got diabetes just looking at the things. And I’m going to ignore all of the delicious calories I consumed “taste-testing”. These needed a LOT of taste-testing. Every bite tasted the same but I had to keep testing just in case I encountered an anomaly ..you know how it goes…quality control and all that. If it tastes really, really good, then calories don’t count. It’s like happy calories. Oh, and this version is gluten-free, which I’m pretty sure means negative calories.
Some things you do for the good of your whole person, not your waist line.
This is one of those things.
triple chocolate torte
baker’s note: The recipe below is for a gluten-free brownie recipe, but these can be made with your favorite brownie recipe. Yes, even a mix!
1/2 C butter, melted
1 C pure cane white sugar
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I always prefer dutch-process)
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp strong brewed coffee or espresso, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 C rice flour
3 Tbsp tapioca flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa until smooth and kinda creamy.
3. Add salt, coffee, and vanilla. Then mix in eggs one at a time.
4. Mix in flours and starch and stir will.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into pan of your choice and bake at 350 for 30-ish minutes (depending on your pan choice) or until no longer super gooey in the middle. (I love gooey brownies so I take mine out a little early)
7. Allow to cool on a wire rack while you get ready for the decorating!
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C butter, cut into chunks
1. Combine chocolate chips and butter in heat-proof bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Take it out, give it a stir and pop it back in the microwave for 20 more seconds.
2. Continue this process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
3. Pour over your cooled torte, covering all sides evenly. Or not, let it be messy – no one will care!
4. Allow to stand for 1 hour or until chocolate has mostly set. (You can also refrigerate it to speed up this process.)
5. Garnish as desired. I used some homemade chocolate whipped cream (recipe below), mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, and chocolate sprinkles. Like I said, chocolate-on-chocolate-on-chocolate.
chocolate whipped cream
1/2 C heavy cream, chilled
2 tsp superfine sugar
2 tsp cocoa
1. In chilled bowl, beat cream on medium-high until soft peaks form.
2. Sprinkle in the sugar and cocoa and beat on medium until all whipped in.
3. Fill a piping bag with the cream and use a garnish after the chocolate has set. Or just eat it from the bowl. Or fill a bowl with the stuff and go to town. Or just save yourself a dish and eat it straight from the mixer. It really is your call. All methods are equally delicious. Not that I would know about going to town on a bowl of chocolate whipped cream…