Brownie Mocha Torte

May 11: National Mocha Torte Day

Now that we do not live in the same Texas city anymore as Islander’s brother Kahuna, we try to visit whenever we can and stay over at each other’s homes—except he lives in a religious community of priests and brothers, whereas our house is just the Highlander and Islander Inn. Fortunately there are guest rooms at their house and we are always welcome to stay there and join them for prayers and meals. So what is the compensation for our free room and board? Merely show up with something sweet, such as brownie mocha torte, and we are greeted at the door with big smiles from everyone! Kahuna’s community loves chocolate and this delicious dessert pays fits the bill with its nutty crunch and fudgy layers sandwiched between a coffee-and-cream flavored filling. We confess that this brownie mocha torte is both sinfully rich but heavenly tasting (but we can do some penance at the in-house chapel and campus gym across the street later).

Brownie mocha torte is a nice dessert to share with family and friends and perfect for observing National Mocha Torte Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • 2 family size (13 x 9 inch) package chocolate brownie mix
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (we used macadamias), toasted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee (we used Kona coffee granules)
  • ½ cup brown sugar (we used C&H brand)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • chocolate curls or chips (optional garnish)

Directions

Toast the nuts and cool them. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir the water in the brownie mix. Blend well.

Beat in the eggs and oil. Add the chopped, cooled nuts. Divide the brownie batter into two greased 8-inch round pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Horizontally slice the brownies in half to make four layers. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate, board or platter. Set aside the three other layers.

In a small bowl, combine the instant coffee granules with brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in the vanilla. Fold in the coffee-sugar mixture. Beat again until stiff.

Spread a quarter of the filling mixture on the bottom layer of the brownie. Place a brownie layer on top. Spread another quarter of the filling mixture onto this layer. Place another brownie layer on top. Repeat with the last layer. Frost the top layer with the remaining filling (or decorate with swirls using a star tip). Sprinkle the top with chocolate curls or chips. Cover and refrigerate to set. Before serving, remove from the refrigerator and let thaw for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Notes

  • There are different definitions of torte. As a noun, a torte is a rich European-style cake made with many eggs and little flour and usually containing chopped nuts (this recipe contains just two eggs, some flour mixed with chocolate/cocoa powder and chopped nuts). As an adjective, a torte is a multi-layered cake (this recipe has four layers).
  • Search our blog for more chocolate recipes under the Theme Menus option.

 

Fudge Pecan Torte

Fudge Pecan Torte

August 21: National Pecan Torte Day

Pecans are popular in the South (especially in South Texas where we live) and we have put them in pies, cookies, cakes, tarts and now a torte. Like the Pioneer Woman’s “Texas Fudge Sheet Cake” recipe, Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen’s “Fudge Pecan Torte” is its richer cousin. Both cakes are deliciously fudgy, but the torte is also studded with pecans and slathered with a silky-smooth icing. While the sheet cake is a casual crowd pleaser at potlucks, the torte is a decadent dessert centerpiece and showstopper at posher parties! Indulge on National Pecan Torte Day with this Fudge Pecan Torte recipe.

Recipe

(Adapted from Paula Deen via Good Housekeeping)

For the torte

  • 11 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cold, sliced
  • 4 ounces/squares bittersweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup coffee liqueur (we used Godiva brand cappuccino liqueur)
  • ¾ cup pecan chips (coarsely chopped pecan pieces)

Directions

Grease a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease it as well. In a microwavable bowl, place the butter and bittersweet chocolate. Microwave until it is melted (about 1 ½ minutes). Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Fudge Pecan Torte

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend well. Stir in the coffee liqueur.

Fudge Pecan Torte

Gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the pecans with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack in the pan. Invert the torte onto a wire rack set over a lipped pan lined with foil. Carefully peel away the parchment paper from the top of the torte. Prepare the chocolate ganache icing.

Fudge Pecan Torte

For the icing and pecan decorations

  • 8 ounces/squares semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ¼ cup pecan chips (coarsely chopped pecan pieces)
  • 3 whole pecans, toasted

Directions

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate. In a small saucepan on the stovetop, heat the whipping cream over medium heat until bubbly, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan. Pour over the melted chocolate and mix well. Stir in the corn syrup until well blended. Let set to thicken for about five minutes.

Fudge Pecan Torte

Slowly pour the icing over the top of the torte, allowing it to drip down the sides. Use a spatula to smooth out the icing over the top and sides. Let set for around 10 minutes.  Carefully transfer the torte to a cake plate, board or stand/pedestal. Decorate with a ring of pecan chips on top of the torte. Garnish the middle with the whole pecans.

Fudge Pecan Torte

Notes

  • We used a Wilton cake lifter to transfer the iced torte onto a cake board.
  • Nuts about pecans? Search our blog for more recipes using pecans as an ingredient.