Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Number 16: Chocolate torte and salted caramel ice cream

Today was one of those days where you spend a lot of time baking and nothing really goes right.

It started like this.

I woke up wonderfully late (I love summer vacation). I churned the ice cream with no problems. Attempted to make macarons via Tartelette's strawberry macaron recipe. It took me forever to dry the strawberries, and I don't like how they turned out. Are macarons supposed to be crisp? Chewy? I should probably try some before making them but I can't find any here. And I was doing so well with the David Lebovitz recipe! Ah well.

So I ate some lunch, picked up dry cleaning, and bought some butter.

When I came home I decided to make chocolate ganache for tarts. I want to recreate my first post to take a better photo. However, I made too much chocolate ganache for the nine shortbread crusts left over from my fruit tarts. After some hasty decision making, I made some more shortbread dough so I can make more ganache tarts. Another hasty decision led me to change my mind.
Instead, I decided to make some chocolate torte. This way I can get rid of the ganache AND serve it with the caramel ice cream.


It was a lot of work, it was very backwards. Really, I should learn to manage food better (shortbread dough STILL IN THE FRIDGE. what to do?)

After dinner I served the torte and ice cream to complaints that the ice cream was too salty (sorry Dad). Then made some swiss meringue buttercream that tastes too much like butter and sugar and makes me sick. Not a good baking day, but we'll try again tomorrow I guess. Sorry for the bummer entry. Prepare for an optimistic Jessica and a better picture of the chocolate ganache, strawberry meringue tart tomorrow.

Lots of egg whites to get rid of. Might make some honey financiers again with cheaper ingredients to see how I can make this stuff at school.

Chocolate torte
with chocolate ganache and salted caramel ice cream
recipe adapted from Tartelette

For the chocolate torte:
5 oz chocolate (I mixed bittersweet and semisweet because I ran out)
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
3/8 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoons (15gr) flour
3/8 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon espresso
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

For the chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
6 ounces chocolate, chopped
pinch of salt
1 egg

For the salted caramel ice cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon honey
1/6 cup water
1 1/3 cup half and half
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

To make the chocolate ganache

1. Bring the cream and milk to a simmer
2. Pour over chocolate and salt
3. Let sit for a minute, mix until smooth
4. Beat the egg and mix into the chocolate mixture

To make
the chocolate torte with ganache:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the middle and a rack on the bottom.
1. Line a square cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and butter. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. In a stand mixer (or with hand held beaters), whisk the eggs and sugar on medium speed until slightly thickened.
4. Add the vanilla.
5. Turn the speed to low and add the chocolate mixture and whip for a minute.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat one minute on low speed until everything is incorporated.
7. Spread the batter on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or unti the center is just set.
8. Pour chocolate ganache over the cake and return to oven on the lower rack
9. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. If bubbles or cracks form it is overbaked.

To make the ice cream
1. Place sugar, water and honey in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat and mix until sugar dissolves
2. Once the sugar is dissolved cook until it becomes an amber caramel
3. Add in 2/3 cup of the half and half
4. Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring to dissolve caramel bits
5. Slowly add the remaining half and half
6. Whisk the eggs, gradually adding in some of the caramel mixture to temper
7. Gradually add all of the caramel mixture into the eggs, and return it back to the saucepan
8. Cook until it coats the back of a spoon, stirring continuously
9. Strain into a clean bowl
10. Place the custard into an ice bath and mix in the salt and vanilla until it reaches room temperature
11. Refridgerate overnight. Process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions

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