Random tortes

We’re a week away from launching The Week. James Murdoch has just been labelled the only mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise (you may think me biased but Tom Watson really is a nasty, chippy little man – is it possible to be any more bitter?). Oscar just had his 11th birthday party. Frankie cockosa was just thrown out of the X factor in a last-ditch attempt by the producers to bring a grain of intrigue into a programme that would be more compelling if the entire roster of artists were replaced with a selection of week-old cow pats. Geeks around the world have just celebrated the fact that 111111×111111=12345654321 (including me). Siri can’t tell the time in Enfield – can it do anything? I have the shorts with me (upstairs) and I’m reminded of a really good pudding that Immie and I made together a few weeks ago –

Chilli chocolate torte

The chilli works really well in this recipe – it gives it a depth and intensity that really appeals to me. I thoroughly recommend giving it a try – embrace the heat…

Start by greasing a loose bottomed cake tin (about 10cm in diameter) and lining the bottom with greaseproof paper. Now for the base – I’m not sure I have this completely right yet, so I’ll update this bit when have the best bottom, but so far two options: One is to finely crush amaretti biscuits and the other is to use galettes au buerre. The key is to get a rich, crispy base that will give the torte a little crunch. You need just enough for a base of about 1.5mm, no more. Next time I’m going to add a little melted butter too so that it binds together. Spread the crushed biscuits evenly on the base of the tin and put it in the fridge.

Now break up 100g of Green and Blacks milk chocolate and 100g of a good 70% cocoa dark chocolate into a bowl above very gently simmering water along with two tablespoons of dark rum, a small fresh medium hot red chilli, very finely chopped (with all the seeds removed) and three teaspoons of liquid glucose. Turn off the hob so that the bowl doesn’t get too hot – the latent heat from the steam in the pan will be enough to melt the chocolate.

Whip about 300ml of double cream into soft peaks. Take a large spoonful of the cream and mix it gently into the melted chocolate (make sure the bottom of the melting bowl isn’t too hot at this point – if it is, you can dip it into cold water) – this will loosen it a little so that you can now very carefully fold the remainder of the cream into the mixture, ensuring mix the cream and chocolate thoroughly (best done with a large metal serving spoon).

Now pour the chocolate over the top of the base, smooth the top with a knife and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Before serving you can either dust it with cocoa powder, or grate more chocolate over the top (I prefer the latter). Oh and make sure you take it out of the tin before you do this – I find removing the torte from the edges of the tin, turning it upside down onto a plate, lifting the tin base and baking paper from the bottom of the torte, putting your serving plate on top of the upturned torte and then flipping the whole thing back the right way around is the best approach. Hope that didn’t sound too confusing.

Serve with single cream and eat with gusto…


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