Monday, October 11, 2010

Chocolate overdose

Last week was my Mom's birthday.  Normally, I'm not a chocolate lover, but she is so I figured what the heck, I'm going to make this pomegranate torte I've been eyeing for a couple of years but just never have the occasion to make it for.

(Photo from

 Doesn't it look fantastic and chocolaty?  Let me assure you it is both fantastic and chocolaty.  You can find the recipe at

At first, the recipe seems a little daunting.  Yes, you make that jelly layer.  Keep in mind, the recipe says it'll take 10 minutes.  Based on my experience and the comments on the recipe itself, I'd say you need to allow about an hour for that step, but it's worth it - it's my favorite part of the entire torte.

Let's start with the chocolate.  This recipe uses 12 ounces total chocolate.  I used Nestle Noir 70% Dark Chocolate.  I ended up making the cake twice because of a bit of an issue with the jelly (I underboiled it the first time).  The first time, I grated the chocolate using a fine rasp from Lee Valley tools.  Not a great idea when what you're grating melts easily.  The second time, Mr. Moose took over and ran the chocolate through your standard rotary cheese grater (think italian restaurant waiter grating parmesan on your fresh pasta).  It worked much better.

The first attempt also saw me forget the add the butter and water to the chocolate when I melted it, only adding it after I'd mixed it with the egg yolks and flour.  That cake still turned out looking like this after brushing loose crumbs away

Next up:  Jelly.  I love this jelly.  I want to make this jelly and use it on my toast every morning.  I could eat this jelly with a spoon.  SO good.

I got bored watching it simmer away so I took a picture.  Look at that pretty cranberry through the mist. Once it boiled down and I pressed it through a fine mesh sieve (use a medium mesh.  Really), it looked like this

Mmmm delicious red splatter.

Somehow I didn't get a picture of the jelly on the cake either time.  So take a moment and imagine jelly on a cake.  There ya go.  The first time it was too thin and it soaked into the cake which totally wasn't the look I was going for.  So, in an obsessive compulsive fit of baking perfection, I started over.  Second time it was perfect and packed in the car for the 4 hour drive to the family farm.

Once there,  melted the final six ounces of chocolate with honey, butter and water and used it to glaze the cake.  I substituted chopped dark chocolate for pomegranate seeds as garnish and had a birthday cake fit for a chocolate loving mother.

I recommend serving it with whipped cream and a cup of chai tea.

 That picture was taken post chocolate glaze, but before I put it on a pretty dish to serve.

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