Saturday, October 27, 2012

Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte—With Pictorial


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As the Holiday season fast approaching, we all can use a few potluck and gathering recipes, right?  Today, I have this excellent dessert recipe for you.  Not only it looks elegant and sophisticated, it tastes wonderful as well.  Best of all, you can make this torte ahead of time, so no stressing-out on the day you need to serve this dessert.  Shhh….I won’t tell it’s so easy to make.  Let your guests think you spend hours in the kitchen to pull this together.  You can use the hours you didn't spend to enjoy a cocktail or take a nap!  ahem….

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This Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte might look complicated and involved a few steps.  But they are all quite simple steps to follow.  I'll show you in the step-by-step pictorial below. 

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Before we go to the pictorial, I want to show you the different layers of this Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte (see picture right below).  First, you get the Almond Butter Swirls on top, contrasting the Dark Chocolate Garnache to create that beautiful pattern.  The next layer is the creamy Almond Butter mixed with Crunchy Smoke Almonds, I absolutely love that contrasting texture when you bite into it.  Of course, we can always use a little bit more Chocolate Chips in between.  Last but not least, the whole Torte is build on the crunchy and flaky Chocolate Crust. 

253Layers

I’m telling you, each bite is heavenly.  Just make sure you get a little bit of everything all in one bite.  hm….It’s rich and decadent.  Definitely a treat for any chocolate lover.

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Want to check out how I made it?  Come over to the kitchen with me.

1) Mix the chocolate crust ingredients in the stand mixer.  Wrap and chill the dough before rolling.  Line a clean surface with plastic wrap and lightly dust with flour. 

2) Line a clean surface with a large piece of plastic wrap, lightly dust the wrap with some flour. Place the dough on the wrap, lightly dust the top of the dough with more flour and cover the dough with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a 7-by-16-inch rectangle. Remove the top plastic wrap and flip rolled dough onto a 4 1/2-by-14-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom.

3) Gently press the dough into the pan. It’s okay of the dough tears, gently patch it back. Roll the rolling pin on top of tart pan to remove excess dough. Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.  Preheat oven to 350F degree. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weight. Bake for 20 minutes and lift the parchment paper to remove the weight.

4) Prick dough with a fork and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool on a wiring rack.  When the crust is cooled. Prepare the fillings.

Pictorial A

5)  This is the almond butter that I used.  In a microwave safe bowl, heat the almond butter until fluid and runny, about 30 seconds
.
6) and 7) Pour onto cooled crust and smooth with the back of a spoon.

8) Sprinkle the almonds and chocolate chips on top and gently press them into the almond butter. Place the torte in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, prepare the ganache and swirls.

Pictorial B

9) In a small sauce pan, heat the cream until simmer. Remove from heat and add the salt, coffee, dark chocolate and cayenne pepper.

10) Stir until smooth. Let the chocolate ganache sit for about 8 minutes to cool off.

11)  and 12) Then, pour the chocolate ganache onto the tart and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.


Pictorial C

13) In a microwave safe bowl, heat the almond butter until runny, about 10 seconds. Fill a disposable pastry bag with the warmed almond butter and snip off the end of the bag.

14) Pipe the almond butter diagonally with zigzag lines across the torte.

15) and 16) With a toothpick, draw over the almond butter lines perpendicularly in a zigzag motion.  Refrigerate torte until set, about one hour. Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Pictorial D

Pretty simple, right?  You’re actually just baking the crust and the rest are very simple to assemble.  I hope you’ll give this Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte a try.  It’s elegant enough to serve at dinner parties and simple enough to make on weekdays (yeah, that’s what I did).  Whether you’re the host of a party or an attendee, this Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte (and you) sure will be the crowd pleaser and get all the spot light if you share this with others.  Until next time, take care.

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Smoky Chocolate Almond Torte: (Printable Recipe)
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients for the crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 stick (4oz) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Ingredient for the filling:
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1/4 cup smoked almond, finely chopped
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Ingredient for the Chocolate Ganache and Swirl:
3/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of instant coffee
5 ounce dark chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona 70%)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons smooth almond butter

To Prepare the Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and cocoa powder together.  In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla and heavy cream, beat until well combined.

Turn mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.  Scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Shape dough into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before using. 

Line a clean surface with a large piece of plastic wrap, lightly dust the wrap with some flour.  Place the dough on the wrap, lightly dust the top of the dough with more flour and cove the dough with another piece of plastic wrap.  Roll the dough into a 7-by-16-inch rectangle.  Remove the top plastic wrap and flip rolled dough onto a 4 1/2-by-14-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom.

Gently press the dough into the pan.  It’s okay of the dough tears, gently patch it back.  Roll the rolling pin on top of tart pan to remove excess dough.  Place the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350F degree.  Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans or pie weight.  Bake for 20 minutes and lift the parchment paper to remove the weight.  Prick dough with a fork and bake for another 10 minutes.  Let cool on a wiring rack.

When the crust is cooled.  Prepare the fillings.

To Prepare the Fillings:
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the almond butter until fluid and runny, about 30 seconds. Pour onto cooled crust and smooth with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle the almonds and chocolate chips on top and gently press them into the almond butter.  Place the torte in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, prepare the ganache and swirls.

In a small sauce pan, heat the milk until simmer.  Remove from heat and add the salt, coffee, dark chocolate and cayenne pepper.  Stir until smooth.  Let the chocolate ganache sit for about 8 minutes to cool off.  Then, pour the chocolate ganache onto the tart and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the almond butter until runny, about 10 seconds.  Fill a disposable pastry bag with the warmed almond butter and snip off the end of the bag.  Pipe the almond butter diagonally with zigzag lines across the torte.  With a toothpick, draw over the almond butter lines perpendicularly in a zigzag motion.

Refrigerate torte until set, about one hour.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

43 comments:

  1. Oh goshhhh.... *falling off the chair*.... This torte looks delicious... Almond butter?? It's something like peanut butter but with almond? Haven't seen that in my country yet :-( No wonder it must be delicious....

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  2. No..no...no.......I can't go on looking at the photos anymore....this is absolutely delicious....yum...drooling. I really loves to own this rectangular tart pan. Beautiful. Is it a removable base pan?

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    1. :) Wish I can share this tart with you. Yes, the bottom of the tart pan is removable, very convenience. Here's the link to the pan I've got.

      http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/gobel-standard-nonstick-rectangular-tart-pan/?pkey=e%7Crectangular%2Btart%2Bpan%7C3%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

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  3. Oh wow, Amy! This torte looks absolutely amazing and now that I am looking at the pics it's not that hard to be made...but I know I would mess up somehow LOL! Just pinned to save it for later...

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    1. Thanks for pinning. No, this torte is really as simple as the picture shown. It's hard to mess it up. ;) I'm glad you like it and please let me know how it turned out if you make it.

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  4. Deliciously gorgeous tart and photos!

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    1. Thank you, Katrina. :) Glad you like it. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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  5. I was hoping that you would show me how you decorated the top and you did! Wow.. so pretty! I'd be so scared to make mistake using a tooth pick! Your detail work is simply amazing. What a fantastic torte!

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    1. hehe...the art of this torte is not to afraid making mistakes or a mess. When your tooth pick goes through the chocolate and the almond cream on top, it'll just create nice patterns and swirls. It probably would look even better if you make more curves on it. ;) I might just do that the next time.

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  6. Oh my oh my Amy, what an awesome treat. Am drooling here! Slurpppp... Is it possible to FEDex the whole pce over? haha... Kudos! & have a great week ahead dear.
    Kristy

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    1. Thank you, Kristy. hehe....yeah, the whole torte was gone so quickly right before my eyes. Can't wait to make another one soon. ;) Wish you a beautiful rest of the week.

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  7. This looks incredible..something I'd see in a shop window! I love the presentation and must try myself.

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    1. Thank you, Brittany. I'm glad you like it. ;)

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  8. I can't say if I love this tart more or those gorgeous matching blue plate and coffee cups you have!

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    1. Thanks. Oh, those are one of my favorite plate and cup set. :) I love them so much I got them in two different colors....I think I might just get the rest of the other 3 colors. hahaha...maybe as Christmas gifts for myself. :P

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  9. This looks so amazing, i'm drooling ove the screen!! :)

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  10. Oh my! This sounds like an amazing treat and looks so delicious. Mouth watering. I need to make this for a care package. Crave worthy!

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    1. Oh, it is such a great idea to make it for a care package! :) For sure whoever receive it will have a big smile on the face.

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  11. How beautiful, Amy! This is definitely company worthy and wonderful tutorial.

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    1. Thank you. Glad you like the tutorial.

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  12. That is almost too beautiful eat - almost, but not quite....

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    1. hehe...Thanks, Belinda. Glad you like it. Have a beautiful rest of the week.

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  13. Not to be an absolute parrots, but this dessert looks jaw-dropping good! I'm always looking for an easy-to-pull-together potluck treat with beautiful presentation, so this has been duly bookmarked. By the by, where did you get those plates and matching cloth? Gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you. Glad you love this recipe. Hope you'll try it soon.

      I got those plate/cup set and table cloth at different places, they just happen to match.

      The cloth was from Jo-Ann (http://www.joann.com/), the crafting store.

      The tea cup set I got from One Kings Lane (https://www.onekingslane.com/invite/amytong5). It's a membership only online shop (membership is free) and they have different products from time to time.

      Hope that helps.

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  14. Oh Amy, that is beautiful and looks delicious ~you are so talented!! Thanks for sharing.

    I have GOOD news for you ~ your name has been chosen; you're the winner of one of my contests! Please
    come visit my blog for details. :) :) :) ~ Mari

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    1. Wow Amy, what a beautiful torte...it sure looks so professional...I would love to have a slice of this torte.
      Thanks for the pictures and have a wonderful week ahead :)

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  15. OMG~ I love tarts especially chocolate flavour and yours look absolutely gorgeous! Love the swirl on it. How i wish I am one of your neighbours :p

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    1. Thank you. Wish I can share this torte with you too. :) Food always tastes better with great companies. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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  16. Beautiful cake! In fact, it's so gorgeous, I'm pinning it to my Pinterest board. ;)

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Appreciate your pinning and I'm so glad you like this torte. ;) Have a wonderful rest of the week.

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  17. Wow, is that ever beautiful!! So impressed. :)

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  18. Wow, is that ever beautiful!! So impressed. :)

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad this torte is so easy to make and yet looks so elegant. :) I'm definitely making it to my next family gathering.

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  19. *Swoon* I think I just went to dessert Heaven!!! What a stunner and I bet it tastes like Heaven, too!

    I JUST got a FB page last night (I know, I'm all laaaate)...find me and I'll find you =)
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Squishy-Monster/103615866469262

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    1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your Fan Page. Just liked it. :)

      Here's the link to my Facebook Fan Page if you're interested to check it out. Thank you in advance and Happy Thursday!

      (https://www.facebook.com/pages/uTryit/155985271084405?ref=hl)

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  20. That's such an awesome looking and probably tasting tart/torte. Yummy!

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    1. Thanks. Glad you like it. It was wonderful and I'm going to make it again for family gatherings.

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  21. What a beautiful torte. Love the design on top.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. I'm glad you like it. ;) Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend.

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  22. oh mym Amy this looks decadent and beautiful! I bought the long tart pan only recently so I know what to inaugurate it with!-)

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    1. :) Thank you. Hope you'll love this tart. Have fun baking.

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