This recipe was shared with me by my mother-in-law, Angie. When she was visiting us a few weeks ago, I asked her about their family Christmas traditions from when Andy and his brother, James, were young. They’re a skiing family, so spent most of their holidays on the slopes in France. But she recalled making Chocolate Truffle Torte, a recipe from Delia Smith (the Ina of England). A few days after Angie left, Delia Smith’s Christmas turned up outside our apartment. After a particularly tough week, this was a wonderful surprise. The book is terribly late 80s, the photos dark and moody, but it’s Delia: the recipes are sound.
When our friends Anna and Don invited us for Sunday lunch, meaning a full English roast, I quickly volunteered to bring the pudding. I made the Chocolate Truffle Torte – – twice. The first time I made it (on the Saturday night before Sunday lunch), I didn’t read the recipe through and hadn’t whipped the cream before folding it into the chocolate. So at 7:30 on Sunday morning, I was walking around the Upper West Side, searching for Amaretti Biscuits, a pound of chocolate and heavy cream. The latter two were much easier to source then the first, but I managed to find the biscuits at Fairway. Gotta love New York City for that.
The torte was a huge success at lunch. I served it with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkled it with pomegranate seeds, not only for looks, but because both the whipped creamed and pomegranate seeds cut the very intense, but very smooth, chocolate-y flavor.
As I made it, for the second time, I thought this would be a great dessert for the holidays. It’s impressive and delicious, but it’s no bake, freeing up precious oven space when you’re cooking the big meal. It comes together in about 20-30 minutes, then put in the fridge and pull it out just prior to serving. Delia herself says, this dessert is very rich, “A little bit goes a long way.” But that’s all you want after holiday meals anyway – – a small sliver of something wonderful.
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- 3 ounces amaretti biscuits, crushed finely in a food processor or with a rolling pin
- 1 pound good quality chocolate (I used Green and Black's and Ghiradelli)
- 5 tablespoons liquid corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons rum
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- Whipped cream
- Pomegranate seeds
- Pour the crushed biscuits into a 9-inch springform pan, being sure to cover evenly. Break the chocolate into sections and place in a heatproof bowl together with the corn syrup and rum. Fit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then leave it until the chocolate has melted and become quite smooth. Once completely melted and mixed, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes or until it feels just warm.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the cream until just lightly thickened. Fold half into the chocolate mixture and then fold that mixture into the rest of the cream. When completely blended, pour into the prepared pan. Jostle the pan gently to even the mixture, cover with saran wrap and chill overnight (or for 4-5 hours).
- Just before serving, run a knife round the edge to loosen the torte, then turn the out on to a serving plate. Slice, plate and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.