Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chocolate Torte with Pecan Crust

This dessert is a complete winner and very simple to make. The "wow" factor will amaze your friends and family.

Pecan Crust:
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Chocolate Filling:
15 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups heavy cream

Caramel Sauce:
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Make the pecan crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray side and bottom of 9-inch spring form pan with vegetable cooking spray. Place pecans, sugar, flour and butter in food processor bowl. Cover and process until nuts are ground and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Make the chocolate filling:
Place chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl over a double boiler. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in egg yolks.
Heat heavy cream in small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Slowly add chocolate mixture to cream, whisking until smooth. Pour filling over crust. Chill for 4 hours or overnight. Loosen torte from side of pan. Remove side of spring form pan. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Make the caramel sauce:
Stir sugar, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat; boil without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber brown. This should take about 9 minutes. Take off the stove and hold over the sink before pouring the cream mixture into the sugar mixture. It will boil and bubble. Once calmed down, add to back to the burner and reduce slightly over medium low heat for about 8 minutes. Chill until thickened. Put into another container and slightly heat when ready to use.

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