12/5/08

Chocolate Cinnamon Apple Torte

Chocolate, cinnamon, almond and apple. What an interesting combination! To make it even more interesting it used hard cooked egg yolks... odd! I have this recipe wrote down in my files and there is a scribble of 'food and wine' next to it. I believe it came from a food and wine magazine or article a few years ago. I tucked it away with a notation next to it to make it in the winter time. This still makes sense to me as it really seems a cold weather dessert. Perfect for Christmas or a holiday open house!


Chocolate Cinnamon Apple Torte

2 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 c plus 2 T powdered sugar
1/2 c plus 1 T finely ground blanched almonds
3 hard boiled large egg yolks, cooled to room temperature and pressed through a sieve
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 T dark rum
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t baking powder

Filling
1 large Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
1 T unsalted butter
2 T rum
1/3 c heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 large egg whites, at room temperature

Garnish
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate shavings and curls
1/4 Granny Smith apple
1 t lemon juice
2 t apple jelly
2 cinnamon sticks

Cream the butter, add the powdered sugar, ground almonds, egg yolks, cinnamon and salt and process until smooth. Add the rum and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gather into a ball. Cut the dough into thirds; pat each piece into a 6-inch disk and wrap separately in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Let the dough soften slightly before rolling it out.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of the dough into a 10-inch round. Cut out a 9-inch round. Carefully transfer the round to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining disks of dough. Prick the rounds all over with a fork, then bake them one at a time for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool completely.

Filling: In a bowl, combine the apple with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the cinnamon. In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter over moderately high heat. Add the apple and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly crusted and tender but not mushy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rum, stir the apple to coat. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the cinnamon sticks until almost simmering. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat. Strain the hot cream over the chocolate; discard the cinnamon sticks. Gently stir until smooth and let cool until tepid.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites until very foamy. Gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, fold one-quarter of the beaten whites into the chocolate. Fold in the remaining whites, then fold in the apple.

Set 1 cinnamon pastry round in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and spread half of the chocolate mousse on top. Cover with a second pastry round, pressing gently. Spread the rest of the mousse over the top and cover with the last pastry round. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Remove the side of the pan and pat a thin layer of chocolate shavings against the side of the cake. Cut 5 thin slices from the apple and rub with the lemon juice. Fan the apple slices on the cake. In a small saucepan, melt the apple jelly over moderately high heat and brush a thin layer over the apples. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and serve.
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