To Torte or not to Torte!

Belgian Torte  feeling down here’s a pick me upper. I’ve baked these in old, small, clay, flower pots from my Oma’s garden. Cleaned them up and now I constantly use them for out-door summer parties. You know what they say Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!   Enjoy!

12 ounces bittersweet Belgian* chocolate, chopped
8 ounces unsalted butter, cubed
6 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Frangelico liqueur
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoons salt
8 ounces roasted, salted macadamia nuts, ground fine, plus ½ cup chopped coarse for serving
powdered sugar, warm chocolate sauce, and whipped cream, for serving

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch spring-form pan.**  Line the bottom with a 10-inch circle of parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. Dust the bottom and sides of the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
2.    In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring often until smooth and completely melted.
3.    Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth.
4.    Stir in the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and salt and beat just until smooth.
5.    Stir in the ground macadamia nuts.
6.    In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
7.    Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until just set.  A toothpick inserted in the outer edges of the cake should come out clean, but when inserted in the center should come out barely clean.
8.    Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  Unmold onto a serving plate.
9.    Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of warm chocolate ganache.  Sprinkle the chopped macadamia nuts over the top.

**Torte batter may be baked in individual ring molds, if desired.  Place 10 or 12 individual ring molds on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper.  Grease insides of ring molds.  Divide batter evenly between molds.  Reduce baking time to 12 to 14 minutes. minutes.

*such as Callebaut, or your favorite high-quality bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate Sauce
Makes about ½ cup

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoon Frangelico or other liqueur

1.    Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler, stirring often until smooth and completely melted.
2.    Whisk in the heavy cream and Frangelico and stir until warm.  Serve warm over your favorite dessert.

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