Grand Marnier Chocolate Pecan Torte

8 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange-liqueur)
½ teaspoon vanilla
1⅓ cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; very finely chopped
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
7 egg whites
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache Glaze
1 recipe Grand Marnier Whipped Cream
1 fresh orange, thin skin-variety1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Melt broken chocolate in double boiler, stirring constantly, or microwave on medium for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
3. In the small mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually adding ½ cup of the sugar; mix until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, liqueur and vanilla; beat until creamy. Transfer to larger bowl. Fold melted chocolate into creamed mixture.
4. Use a food processor or blender to chop pecans to a coarse powder. Combine nuts with crumbs and fold into chocolate mixture.
5. Beat egg whites with salt, gradually adding remaining ¼ cup sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Stir ¼ of egg whites into chocolate mixture; fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch spring form pan lined with waxed paper. Bake in preheated on bottom rack for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is firm. Cool on rack. Cake will sink slightly in the center.
6. Remove pan and liner Turn torte, top side down, onto serving plate. Chill cake while preparing topping
7. Arrange strips of waxed paper under cake edge to catch excess glaze. Pour Chocolate Ganache Glaze over top and sides of cake. After a short time, run excess glaze up sides of cake.
8. Cover sides of cake with nuts. Remove waxed paper strips.
9. Pipe rosettes or form a ring of Grand Marnier Whipped Cream around top of chocolate glazed torte.
10. With a sharp knife cut peel from orange. Slice into circles; cut into quarters. Place oranges around cake on top of whipped cream. If preferred, sprinkle grated orange rind over whipped cream.
11. Cake should be stored in a cool place until served.

Servings: 8

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (orange-liqueur)
⅓ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; very finely chopped1. Finely chop chocolate.
2. Heat cream until hot. On very low heat add chocolate, stirring until smooth and thick. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in liqueur.

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream
¾ cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (orange-liqueur)1. Whip cream with sugar and liqueur until it holds a shape. Do not over beat

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