There's no limit to the number of forms cocoa can take at the Chocolate Lounge, the café from craft bean-to-bar maker French Broad in Asheville, North Carolina. But it's this surprisingly simple torte that's been owners Jael and Dan Rattigan's most popular confection since the lounge opened 10 years ago, chocolate expert Megan Giller says in her new book, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate.
With such few ingredients involved, the chocolate you use truly matters. The Rattigans use a blend of their own Nicaraguan, Peruvian and Guatemalan chocolate, but if you can't get your hands on their prized bars (there's so much demand it's hard to find them outside Asheville), they suggest playing around with a few of your other favorites to showcase the flavor profile you like best.
Chocolate Truffle Torte
Recipe from French Broad Chocolates. Excerpted from 'Bean-to-Bar Chocolate,' by Megan Giller. Reprinted with permission from Storey Publishing.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
15 ounces chocolate (65 to 80 percent cocoa), chopped
7 ounces butter, chopped
2 tablespoons water
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave (in short intervals), stirring occasionally. Pour the chocolate-butter mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl if you're using a hand mixer).
3. Add the eggs and mix at low speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is completely smooth, 2 to 5 minutes.
4. Pour the water into a small saucepan, then add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar and salt dissolve (a minute or 2), swirling the pan to aid in even cooking.
5. With the mixer at low speed, stream the melted sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture. When all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and mix until the batter is smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
6. Scrape the batter into the springform pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges look set but the center still looks shiny. Let cool before serving.