Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14: Flourless Chocolate Apple Torte

On Friday morning, I am getting on a plane and flying to Nashville for my best friend's baby shower. I am thrilled to be getting two and a half days to myself with Kimberly and Michael, and a teensy bit apprehensive to be leaving my son for the longest I've ever been away from him. Can you believe he's almost three and I've never spent a night away from him? I anticipate calling my husband roughly 43 times in the space of 54 hours.

I am knitting madly away on a baby blanket for Kimberly and Michael's little Sproutlet, and for that reason, I am going to keep it short for the next few days. On Friday, in celebration of my destination, I'm planning on posting a recipe for an authentic Kentucky Hot Brown, possibly the best sandwich on earth next to this insane concoction served in a neighborhood bar in my home town, an open-faced hangover cure of rye bread, roasted turkey, smoked ham, melted cheddar cheese, and bleu cheese dressing. Nomnomnomnomnomnom.

It's Passover, and I am not Jewish, but you never know when you might run into someone who keeps kosher. I don't understand a lot about Jewish dietary law, except that it's considered very strict. Here's a dessert for Passover; it looks delicious, even for someone as religiously ambivalent as I am.

Flourless Chocolate Apple Torte

1/2 cup matzo meal
1/3 cup walnuts
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated peeled apple
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine matzo meal and walnuts in a food processor; process until nuts are finely chopped. Spread on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. Stir in the matzo mixture, apple, cocoa and chocolate.

Beat egg whites and salt in large, clean bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Stir one-quarter of the beaten whites into the batter. Gently fold in remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan, spreading evenly.

Tap pan lightly on counter to release air bubbles.

Bake torte until top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. With a knife, loosen edges of torte. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. (Torte will sink in center).

Remove pan sides and place torte on a serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.


Kimberly said...

Yay! I can't wait! We are going to eat so much while you are here. Mmmm. I think I am gaining weight just thinking about it.

merseydotes said...

Wow - you have never spent a night away from Max? I took my first business trip (only two nights)when Petunia was six months old and I was still breastfeeding and pumping. He and Dan will be fine. Enjoy yourself.