Box of Chocolate
By Angela Denstad Stigeler
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to go buy the requisite box of chocolates. This year, instead of risking assorted creams or nougats that might not all be appreciated, why not buy a box of baking chocolate and use it to whip up a simple torte?
Defined as a thin cake using very little flour, a substantial amout of egg, and most often containing ground or chopped nuts of some kind, a torte is just the sort of rich treat to give a Valentine. And yet, you’ll find it simple enough for any beginning baker. This one, in fact, is a version of a recipe a friend gave me right off a box of chocolate she found in her pantry. My torte came out a little fudgier, and with different nuts. Life’s like that. You take a box of chocolate–semisweet, bittersweet, well tempered– you never know what you’re going to get. But if you can melt chocolate, you’re sure to melt someone’s heart with this.
Chocolate Hazelnut Torte
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, divided
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line with parchment a 9-inch round pan.
Melt the butter and 4 ounces of the chocolate together until the chocolate is just melted, stirring until smooth. Add the sugar and stir well. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt until well combined. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes.
Cool the torte in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn it out onto a platter. Allow the torte to cool completely, then melt the remaining two ounces of chocolate and drizzle it over the torte. Serve in thin wedges.