Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TWD: (Three-Hour and) Fifteen-Minute Chocolate Amaretti Torte



This week on Tuesdays with Dorie--the baking club made of the most fabulous members who follow a new recipe-a-week from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours--we made a chocolate torte, chosen by club member Holly of Phe/MOM/enon (another clever blog name!)


Now..it's actually called "Fifteen Minute" Chocolate Torte--but you're on the blog of someone who can never make a 30-minute meal in under 60 min....so seeing as I made this, on Monday night, while trying to make dinner....well, let's say I started it between 5 and 6pm and Dear Husband and I did not cut into until about 9pm. (OK, I "get" that the 15 min refers to the prep time to get it into the oven---but let's be real too, the recipe starts off assuming you have ALREADY melted and cooled the bittersweet chocolate...so I think its a bit of a misnomer...but hey, it's probably the most amazing torte I've ever had, so in the words of "Fish" (from Ally McBeal, not Barney Miller) "bygones")





But first a story--so way back during my holidays growing up, there was always that time of the holiday dinner where the kids had gotten up from the (kids') table and were already running every which direction, the adults were chatting...men in dad's study by his TV, and ladies around the dining room table getting out the desserts and finishing up the dishes. It's about this time I would sometimes be collared and by my mom as I ripped through the kitchen to chase someone, or run from someone and my mom would say "Go and tell your father to bring out the liqueurs"--and she'd say the word "liqueurs" with a neat sort of French accent, stressing the second syllable...always making me think that perhaps she was being fancy and did not want to say the mundane word, "liquor"...come to find out that liqueurs were indeed the a special 'type' of liquor--the after-dinner cordials...and they lived up to their fancy sounding name with their fancy and unique bottles...and the fancy pieces of mini stemware from which the ladies would sip them....So I'd go tell Dad, and sometimes help him carry in everything from his wet bar in the study to be placed out for the adults to pour along with their desserts. Everything from "the tall one" (Galliano---which was a yellow color that always reminded me and my siblings of the the amber colored liquid Actifed cold medicine we'd have to take whenever we had colds). I'd admire "the globe" (Chambord) and "the monk" (Frangelico) amongst the other random offerings like "B&B", Crown Royal, white schnapps, and all the other whiskeys/bourbons/etc...And, of course, the subject at hand today: the boxy one with the square top, aka: Disaronno.



And into the dining room buffet or table they would all be lined up with the desserts for all the aunts/uncles/grandmothers to choose their 'poison.' I can hear my great-aunt Agnes now asking my dad, "John, can you pour me a Tia Maria...." And while dad tended to the drinks, mom tended to putting out the desserts...and in the midst of Aunt Margaret's pumpkin pie, apple pie...cookies, etc was always a mysterious tall red tin of cookies. I'd always want to try one, but I'd get close, take a whiff and run the other way. Our family eventually just called them the "booze cookies" as we were told they were made with what was sitting on the table in that square bottle...so we would blow them off (yes, I was young, I thought it was gross...now, had someone told me they tasted a lot like "Stella D'oro Breakfast treats" back in the day, I would have been all over them!)



So I grown up seeing that red tin...which later stood in our kitchen cabinet and was used for other food storage..and to this day we'll kid about the "booze cookies" that we all avoided like the plague not liking the smell of them. (Remember, this was a LONG time ago...fast forward to these days--when prior to pregnancy I will definitely enjoy my coffee+amarettos!)

It was a 'flashback' for me to read that the same di Saronno amarettini cookies were in Dorie's recipe this week. Yet now, 30 some years later, when I WANT to find these darn things, I could not. I finally settled on another brand of mini amaretti cookies from another Italian distributor...but I really was hoping to get back to my 'roots' and find that red tin. I'm determined to find it again and have it at MY next holiday gathering.......where I will also be serving this melt-in-your-mouth decadent chocolate torte!

Yes...back to the torte....as I said, I threw it together on Monday night....because it took me until Sunday to find the cookies! (Thank God--no pun intended--for Easter. I think that was why I found them randomly at a shop that would not normally carry them..they had a display of cookies out for the holiday). So I don't have any photos of the torte in the making, but here it is out of the oven....




And here is my cream+chocolate sitting ready for the big stir...



and here is the glaze that went on top after it cooled...all lookin' glossy-like and yummy!




I threw the glaze on the cake at 8:30.....




and by 9pm after the required 30 min 'chill' to set the glaze, we were digging in.

FYI,I passed on making the whipped cream as I could not stand the thought of another kitchen clean-up after finally cleaning up from dinner +torte making. So I chickened out and took out the RediWhip! Plus I plan to freeze half of this as there is no way we can allow ourselves to eat this whole thing, but we could so very easily!

Here was the scene of our taste test. I cut out a small piece and plated it. Threw on some dots of whipped cream...took a fork to it, as did Dear Husband...we look up at each other, mouths full, eyes W-I-D-E open and we both just started to chuckle a laugh, shaking our heads as if to say, "there is no way we can be left alone with this thing..." I told him my plan was to freeze half and he agreed.

I can't tell you how much enjoyment we have out of these recipes each week! And I just love the fact that it seems the majority of the time, he is always telling me "this one is my favorite so far!"

Check out Holly's blog for the recipe--and check out all the blog members of Tuesdays With Dorie in the blogroll! I assure you, you'll find better bakers than I who probably did really fun things this week with mini tortes, or a different spin on the batter/glaze...I tend to do mine 'by the book' for the first go-round...

15 comments:

n.o.e said...

I made this Monday too, just a few hours before you. It took a couple of hours for mine also from start to photo finish. So glad you loved this one. That's the best part about TWD: finding new favorite recipes! Except my husband is sad about the string of chocolate ones coming down the pike, since he's allergic to chocolate. And Lisa, I had to laugh at the "thank God for Easter!"
Nancy

chocolatechic said...

It looks just so wonderful.

Flourchild said...

Yummy looking cake! I like the whipped cream on top!

Cathy said...

LOL LOL LOL!!!!! I am just loving the scene you painted from your family parties growing up. I can totally picture it. I think that your background with liquers helped prepare you for college, don't you? I am so glad that you and hubs loved this torte. I've heard it's great frozen as well (not to tempt you!) It will be so fun to pull that out when you are needing a little chocolate fix!

spike. said...

at least it was worth the effort! Wish I had some of this sitting in my fridge...

Pamela said...

Your story brought me back to the dining room of my Aunt on Thanksgiving. Thanks for that trip! The cake looks fabulous. Nice idea to freeze the extra, too!

Swine said...

Sweet mindtrip back in time! Sounds just a bit fancier than the bygone days of my family outings. The men gathered expectantly in the back porch as Lord Calvert made the rounds. Meanwhile the women huddled over a cheap formica table, teacups steaming, calling my mother a shitass. Good times. Thanks, Bake.

pinkstripes said...

Great looking torte. Love the liquor story. How funny and wonderful memory.

Kara said...

What a great holiday story! :)

I'm with you on how good this was. I took over half of mine into the office and made co-workers eat it (lots of arm twisting, of course). I couldn't risk leaving it around the house. Soooo good.

Teanna said...

What a supportive husband!!! The torte looks GREAT! I loved this one as well! Hopefully, you'll be able to find the Di Saronno cookies one day!

Peggy said...

this torte was so tasty. You have beautiful photos. Mine took definitely more than 15 minutes, but I may be one of the slow cooks! :)

TeaLady said...

Ah, yes, the parent's parties. And the aftermath of left overs. Good Times!! Good Times!!

CAke looks just perfect.

Talita said...

How delicate and yummy your amaretti torte looks! Impressive!

Jennifer said...

I couldn't find the cookies either and had to make some then pulverize them! So mine definitely took longer than 15 minutes to make!

Heather said...

Your chocky torte looks great; what a beautiful gloss!