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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Friday, July 07, 2006

More low fat chocolatey delights

This is another recipe inspired by Alic Medrich. The chocolate walnut torte in Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts has been the next recipe on my list for a while, and when I had a function to attend I thought I'd try this cake, but in a slice tin and cut into individual portion-controlled bite size squares. Always good when you know people are watching their fat/sugar/carb/food intake, but still appreciate something sweet.

I had a feeling the recipe would be quite similar to the fallen chocolate souffle torte I made a few months ago, and in this I was correct. It has the same decadent, rich, flourless consistency that belies the fact that it is low in fat; things this good must be bad for you! They even look like something you should avoid.... In fact, the last few times I've made low-fat chocolate goodies from this book, I've had to make a sign to tape to the platter proclaiming they are low fat, so people won't avoid trying them.

However, I have to acknowledge that this isn't the best recipe in which to play around with pans sizes and individual portions. It's very difficult to cut and there was quite a lot of wastage (ahem...). The centre is gooey and the tops have that crackly crust that just shatters everywhere. To get them into small, bite-size portions was hard work. I probably wouldn't do it again using this recipe. It's definitely better suited to being served in larger portions, on a plate, with cutlery. It'd be the perfect light dessert after a good dinner.

Unbelievably, the supermarket didn't have any plain dark chocolate when I was shopping for ingredients. I didn't really want to go the cheap cooking chocolate route, so I bought a small bar of rum & raisin dark chocolate. The recipe only needs 75 grams and called for a tablespoon of rum, so I thought it would work well. And it did, if you like that flavour of commercial rum & raisin chocolate. I forgot that I didn't, and was surprised at how strongly the flavour carried through the cake. I'm sure some people love that taste, but next time I'm not settling for second-best...
Read on for the recipe:

Chocolate walnut torte pieces with rum & raisin flavour.
Based on Alice Medrich 'Chocolate Walnut Torte'

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 1/2 ounces (75g) rum & raisin chocolate, chopped fine (or plain dark chocolate)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
Icing sugar, to dust.

1: Preheat oven to 350 (175C) and prepare a slice tin (or an 8 inch round cake tin) with baking paper and vegetable oil spray.

2: Grind walnuts with the flour in a food processor or blender until very fine. Set aside.

3: Combine chopped chocolate, cocoa & 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl. Pour in boiling water and whisk until mixture is smooth and fully combined. Stir in egg yolk, rum and vanilla. Set aside.

4: Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue to beag at high speed until stiff. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

5: Scrape batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a skewer or toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. My slice tin took about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the tin.

6: Allow to cool completely (letting it sit in the fridge helps) before removing and cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

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  • Niki, next time try using a plastic knife to cut the cake. Let it cool first, & then cut while still warm. Works every time for me. Google "cutting brownies plastic knife" & you'll find several discussions.

    By Blogger Pene, at 7/07/2006 04:37:00 pm  

  • You're making me want chocolate!!

    By Blogger Belinda, at 7/07/2006 07:40:00 pm  

  • Those look fantastic Niki! I think the "shattered" crust makes them look even more inviting.

    By Blogger Cathy, at 7/08/2006 10:45:00 am  

  • great photo...am sure it was worth the waste...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2006 07:00:00 pm  

  • I think your substitution sounds great! Looks delish to me!

    By Blogger Dianka, at 7/11/2006 04:33:00 am  

  • I love that Book and everything I have made from it has turned sifully good. hard to beleive it was low fat. Love your blog!

    By Blogger Helene, at 7/11/2006 07:59:00 am  

  • Pene - Interesting! Thanks for the tip.

    Belinda - hehe. But we're being good!

    Cathy - Loved the shattered crust...mmm

    Jules - you bet!

    Dianka - Certainly gave an interesting, unusual flavour. Not so bad, really.

    Helene - I love this book too! Can't believe some of the things are low fat cos they taste so good! Do you have any other recipes you recommend from it?

    By Blogger Niki, at 7/11/2006 04:29:00 pm  

  • Hello Niki, your blog is fantastic! Everything looks dead yummy. I've already heard about the book, I think I must find a way to get it!

    By Blogger julie, at 7/11/2006 06:15:00 pm  

  • Ditto with the plastic knife - I like how they cut through brownies much better!

    By Blogger Joe, at 7/12/2006 10:58:00 am  

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