As both my brother and sister were visiting for the holidays a delicious dessert was on the cards and seeing as they are both complete chocoholics, I knew chocolate would have to be the main feature. My brother in particular is such a chocoholic that he won’t even consider eating a dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate. In my opinion he doesn’t know what else he is missing out on, but as he was home for a visit I was more than happy to accommodate. When I found this torte in a recent food magazine I knew it more than met his requirements.
The original torte called for a sponge base, but I changed this to a chocolate biscuit base, as I wanted something with more of a textural contrast to the soft torte. I also added in a shot of Brandy to add a little extra decadence, a decision that was noticed and appreciated by my siblings.
The torte is quite unassuming to look at, but it tasted fabulous. It was quite dense and truffle-like in texture when cut, but light and melting in the mouth thanks to the addition of whipped egg whites in the mix. It was packed with rich chocolate flavour that developed and intensified as the torte softened in your mouth. The chestnut puree still contained tiny amounts of ground chestnut pieces which added to the texture and resulted in a creamy nutty flavour which was the perfect pairing to the rich bitter chocolate. The Brandy made it taste very decedent and just that little bit more special. The chocoholics were more than satisfied and couldn’t help but let out a little moan of ‘Mmmm’ when they took their first bite.
Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Torte
(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine)Ingredients
200g Bourbon biscuits (these are chocolate crème sandwich cookies)
1 x 435g can unsweetened chestnut purée
400g dark chocolate (around 60%)
600ml double cream
2 tbsp Brandy
Grease a 25cm/10inch springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Start by making the biscuit base. Place the biscuits, crème filling and all, into a food processor and blitz until you achieve fine crumbs. Melt the butter, drizzle it over the biscuit crumbs and pulse until mixed and the crumbs look damp.
Pour the crumbs into the tin and press down well to a flat even surface. Place in the fridge to firm up while you make the topping.
To make the truffle topping, separate the egg whites and yolks into different bowls. Add the chestnut puree to the egg yolks and beat until well combined (it won’t go completely smooth).
Melt the chocolate, Brandy and half of the cream together in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted and glossy, remove from the heat and beat it into the chestnut mixture.
Whip the remaining half of the cream until thick enough to hold its shape, but not too stiff, before folding it into the chocolate mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold them into the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain.
Pour the rich chocolate chestnut mixture over the chilled biscuit base and shake gently to level the surface. Place in the fridge to chill and firm up for at least 5 hours, or preferably overnight.
When ready to eat, run a hot knife around the edge of the pan to release it from the tin. Dust the top with cocoa powder and serve with lightly whipped cream or crème fraiche if desired.
The torte can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Note: The torte contains raw egg and so is not recommended for pregnant women or people recovering from illness.
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