Recipe of the Month: Chocolate, Orange and Hazelnut Torte
With Ann Murray of Cooking4 cookery school in Chipping Sodbury
I THINK it’s fair to say that in my column I don’t very often feature a really rich, calorific dessert. But as Delia Smith - or as my friend calls her, Saint Delia - has taught everyone, it’s hard to make a really exquisite dessert without shelling out the calories. She also said have a small portion, don’t feel guilty and don’t go back for seconds! Plus, make it a treat, don’t eat it every day. So, this is my excuse - and I’m sticking to it.
This chocolate torte looks great and is super easy and quick to make, so it’s my go to dessert when I want to impress, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. It can be made a couple of days ahead and any remainders can be frozen in portion sizes to be brought out when only something intensely chocolatey will do! Do make sure that you allow the torte to come to room temperature for maximum flavour. And remember Delia’s advice, a small piece goes a long way. Indulge yourself in a little chocolate naughtiness.
Chocolate, Orange and Hazelnut Torte
Serves 6-8, depending on how much of a chocoholic you are!
Makes one deep 8 inch (20cm) ceramic or Pyrex flan dish
125g (4.5oz) dark chocolate – 70% cocoa solids, look on the back of the wrapper if the percentage is not clearly marked on the front. I use Lindt Excellence or Green and Black chocolate.
125g (4.5oz) caster sugar.
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter.
Zest of 2 oranges (or 3 Clementines.)
3.5 large free-range egg, 30mls is half an egg, very lightly beaten
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of almond extract
1 tbsp Cointreau, optional
Large pinch sea salt.
25g (1 oz) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped.
Icing sugar for dusting top
Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 180C, 170C fan or gas mark 4.
Butter the flan dish, including the bottom. Line the bottom with baking parchment, then dust with cocoa.
Place the chocolate, butter and orange zest in a medium-sized bowl. Place the bowl in a microwave and melt the chocolate on medium for 1 min. If not quite melted, do it for a further 30 seconds. Stir. Don’t overdo it. Stop when its almost done. Stir again and let the heat of the bowl finish it off. Too much cooking will make the chocolate go grainy - if so, you’ll have to start again!
With a balloon whisk, stir in the sugar and then the eggs, a little at a time, until you have a smooth mix. Don’t worry if the mix seems to curdle, just keep stirring. Stir in the extracts and the Cointreau, if using.
Finally, stir in the salt.
Spoon the mix into the prepared flan dish and place in a roasting tin of hot water, making sure the water level is at least 1cm (½ inch) below the top of the dish.
Cook in the centre of the oven until the top feels set and springy to the touch, about 25 mins.
Once set, switch off the heat and leave in the oven for 5 mins.
Remove from the oven and the roasting tin.
Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the top of the torte whilst still warm.
Allow to cool on a wire rack - you can eat this warm or allow to cool to room temperature.
To serve – sift over a little icing sugar on top. A splash of single cream or crème fraiche mixed with a splash of vanilla extract cuts through the richness of the torte.
You can also serve with berries, when in season, or clementines.