Chocolate Apricot Torte

Chocolate Apricot Torte

Serves 10-12

Source: ‘85 BA?

This torte makes a beautiful presentation as well as having a great combination of chocolate, pecans and apricots. Don’t let the many piece-parts turn you away; each is rather simple, so it is just a matter of taking the time to put it all together. The finished cake is decorated with a shiny apricot glaze, then topped with apricot “roses” and Chocolate Leaves. Of course, if you don’t want to go to all the bother, you could make just the torte and coat it in the icing and you would have a fantastic tasting dessert.

Apricots:

cup

Cognac

 

 

 

 

1

cup

chopped dried apricots (1/4” dice)

6

ounces

170

grams

Pan Release:

1

Tbs

butter, room temperature

 

 

15

ml

3

Tbs

bread crumbs

 

 

45

ml

Cake:

cup

unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)

6

ounces

170

grams

1

cup

sugar

7

ounces

200

 

5

large

eggs, room temperature

 

 

 

 

6

ounces

semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

6

ounces

170

grams

1

tsp

vanilla

 

 

7.5

ml

 

cup

dry bread crumbs

 

 

 

 

1

cup

coarsely chopped pecans

6

ounces

170

grams

1

Tbs

flour

 

 

15

ml

Icing:

4

ounces

semiswet chocolate

 

 

115

grams

1

Tbs

butter

 

 

15

ml

1

Tbs

corn syrup (optional)

 

 

15

ml

Glaze:

 

 

reserved soaking liquid from apricots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cognac

 

 

 

 

cup

apricot jam

 

 

 

 

Garnish:

10-12

 

pecan halves

 

 

 

 

5-6

 

dried apricots

 

 

 

 

6-7

 

chocolate leaves

 

 

 

 

Apricots:

Heat the Cognac in a medium saucepan until just hot.
Remove from heat and mix in the apricots.
Let soak for 15 minutes.
Strain the apricots, reserving any soaking liquid for the glaze.

Pan Release:

Butter the bottom and sides of an 8” [22.5 cm] springform pan.
Dust with the bread crumbs.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 375F [185C].

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in the sugar.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Add the chocolate and vanilla.
Mix in the bread crumbs.
Combine the pecans and flour, then blend into the batter by hand.
Fold in the apricots.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Icing:

Stir all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until the mixture is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes (or use a microwave on 50% power, stirring often).
Cool icing for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Glaze:

Add enough Cognac to the soaking liquid to measure 2 tablespoons (30 ml).
Combine with jam in a heavy small saucepan.
Stir over medium-low heat until melted.
Strain through a fine sieve unto a small bowl.
Cool until tepid, about 5 minutes.

Garnish:

Roll the dried apricots under a rolling pin until very thin.
Roll one or two apricots together in a spiral to form a rose.
Cut off the bottom to make a flat base and spread the “petals” to open like a rose.

Construction:

Remove the cake from the pan and place on the serving plate.
Place pieces of waxed paper or parchment under the edge of the plate to catch the excess icing.
Pour the icing over the cake, tilting the cake to cover evenly.
Using a thin flat spatula, spread icing over the top and sides of cake.
Refrigerate until firm.

Pour the glaze over the cake.
Using a thin metal spatula, spread evenly (do not let it run down the sides).
Arrange pecan halves around top edge of cake, ends touching (helps keep the glaze on top).
Refrigerate until glaze is set.

Arrange the apricot roses on top of the cake, placing chocolate leaves next to them.

Chocolate Leaves:

Wash 10-12 small waxy leaves such as camellia leaves (you can also use some rose leaves or citrus leaves. Dry well.

Melt 6 ounces semisweet or bitterseet chocolate in a double boiler or on 50% power in the microwave.
It is important to not get the chocolate too warm or it will break and you will need to re-temper it.
Warm the chocolate until about 75% of it is melted, then stir, using the heat from the melted chocolate to melt the rest. 

Using a small spoon, coat evenly the underside of each leaf and set aside (chocolate side up) to set.
You can refrigerate to set faster.
Use immediately or freeze until needed.

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