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Chef's Corner: Cakes For A Cause -- Smart Recipe

Chocolate Torte With Grand Marnier Cream

Chocolate cake rounds
1 (8 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
6 eggs (large), separated
1/4 teaspoon salt

Orange-flavored whipped cream filling
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
1 (8-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate squares, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup butter, softened


You will need three 8-inch round cake pans, an 8-inch spring-form pan and the ingredients listed at right. Use non-stick pans if you have them available.

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Spray the three cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with wax paper and then coat the wax paper with cooking spray.

Makes one 8-inch layer cake.

Prepare the cake layers:
In a heavy saucepan, melt 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate over low heat. Stir often and then remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time until all of the butter is melted and combined with the chocolate. Whisk in the sugar and then the flour.

Add 6 egg yolks one at a time whisking well to blend the mixture.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a metal bowl until they form stiff peaks. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the melted chocolate mixture and then gradually fold in the remaining egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the pans and bake at 350° F (175° C) for 18 to 20 minutes. The cakes will be fully baked when you are able to insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow the cakes to remain in the pans while cooling completely. Set aside to cool and begin preparing the Grand Marnier whipped cream filling.

Prepare the orange-flavored whipped cream filling:
Place the cold water in a small saucepan and then sprinkle the unflavored gelatin evenly over the surface of the water. Allow it to sit for about a minute.

Cook the mixture over low heat while stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves.

Beat the heavy whipping cream at low speed using an electric mixer and then gradually add the gelatin to the cream. Continue to beat the mixture at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Then gradually add the sugar. Add the Grand Marnier liqueur, the vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks.

Assemble the layers:
Caution: the layers will be delicate. Use great care when removing them from the baking pans.

It is best to assemble the layers inside a deep 8-inch round spring-form pan. This prevents the weight of the cake layers from causing the whipped cream filling to ooze out of the edges. The assembled layer cake can be cooled in the refrigerator while in the spring-form pan. Then once fully refrigerated, the gelatin will have set causing the cream filling to become denser. When the spring-form pan is removed, you will have perfect, uniform layers of chocolate cake and orange-flavored whipping cream. Take a small butter knife and run it along the edges of the cake layers to loosen the layers from the pans.

Gently remove a cake layer from one of the pans and place it at the bottom of the spring-form pan. Spread the orange-flavored whipping cream over the top of the layer. Repeat this process adding another cake layer and then another layer of orange-flavored whipping cream. Place the third layer on top.

Place in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours to allow the cream mixture to solidify (the gelatin will set). Prepare the chocolate glaze approximately 45 minutes before the torte is finished chilling if you are in a hurry. Otherwise just wait until you are certain that the torte will be chilled and ready to glaze. Follow the instructions for preparing the chocolate glaze (above right).

Recipe By: Katie Unkle

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