They say the stomach is the way to someone’s heart, and if this is true (and it most certainly is for me) then it’s probably for the best that I ate virtually all of this chocolate orange torte on my own – it simply wouldn’t be fair to go around stealing hearts like this.
It’s got a chocolate top that cracks into beautiful shards when sliced; a filling that is rich, somewhat decadent and utterly moreish; and, of course, that crumbly base that simply melts on your tongue. It’s just not fair to impose on people like that. Or at least that’s my excuse for my utterly glutenous Sunday evening…
I make no secret of the fact that I love a chocolate dessert – it ranks up there with cheese, coffee and gin in the ‘things Craig is bribable with’ (OK, briefcases full of cash may work as well…). But this wasn’t just about me indulging myself, it was also about learning a new skill – chocolate tempering.
This particular chocolate tempering adventure was interesting (the first time you do something you really shouldn’t be juggling a camera as well), and although I got the crack, the snap and the ability to mould it right, I’m not entirely happy because (as you will see in the photo below) the chocolate is slightly discoloured. I suspect the final decrease in temperature happened too quickly.
If you want more about my chocolate tempering fun you can read it here (and win a kitchen thermometer whilst you’re at it), or alternatively read below and make your own chocolate orange torte to guzzle without any form of shame or regret.
Chocolate orange tart
This recipe is partially made up, partially from the wonderful Kitchen by Nigella Lawson, and partially my recent attempts tempering chocolate. I used a layer of tempered chocolate for the topping, however, a simpler version (the lazy day version) would simply put an extra 30-40ml of cream in to the main filling, and a little blob of butter (maybe a teaspoonful, or slightly less) to ensure it is über shiny. Use a 20cm fluted, loose bottomed dish.
for the base:
200g digestive biscuits
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
for the filling:
200g dark chocolate (ideally around the 80% mark)
130ml double cream
zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp butter (if not having chocolate top)
100g tempered dark chocolate (if using the tempered top)
Start by making the base of your torte. This is incredibly simple: put all the ingredients into a food processor and turn it on. This will break down the biscuits, mix the cocoa powder through and then the butter will start to hold all the crumbs together. You realistically need it to be the texture of damp sand.
Pour out into the fluted tin and use your fingers to press the base mixture into the sides and bass of the tin (making sure it is evenly spread and not more than about 5mm thick. Set aside in the fridge to cool.
The filling is immensely simple as well – it is all essentially melted together. Get a sturdy knife and chop the chocolate into thin pieces (this is optional – it just speeds up the melting process) and then put it into a bain marie (bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the water). As the chocolate is starting to melt, zest your oranges into the melting chocolate .
Let the chocolate fully melt, stirring every so often to ensure the orange is distributed. If you are using the quick method (i.e. no tempered chocolate) put the butter in at this point and let it melt in as you stir.
Once the chocolate has fully melted take the bowl off the pan and pour a quarter or so of the cream in. Mix this through gently, then gradually add the remaining cream whilst mixing. (Doing it this way reduces the temperature of the chocolate more slowly, lessening the likelihood of discolouration or anything going wrong; with the butter in the mix it should end up silky smooth and very shiny.)
Take the base out of the fridge and pour the mixture into your torte case, tilting it this way and that to get an even distribution of the filling. At this point, if you are not adding tempered chocolate, leave it to one side to cool (or in a different, cooler room if you are about to cook or bake anything else).
If you are adding tempered chocolate, let the filling set for 10-15 minutes and then temper your chocolate and add it on top. The best instructions I’ve found for tempering are on the BBC Good Food website.
This post uses:
A recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen