Sunday, February 8, 2009
Chocolate Strawberry torte... with tofu
yesterday was Charlotte's 25th birthday... my favourite female chef (and the new head chef at The Whalesbone) finally turned the big 2-5! I wanted to make her a delicious dessert - full of butter, cream and chocolate - all things I know that Charlotte enjoys. I got inspired by Mich Turner's recipe in his book party cakes.
I wanted to stay true to myself as well... so I decided to change up the buttercream icing with a chocolate tofu icing... I still used whipped cream between the layers, and butter and cream in my ganache and lots of butter and chocolate in the actual cake recipe... so I think both Charlotte and I were happy with the end result.
Although there are a few steps to making this dessert, it's really not that difficult - and I can finally say that I made my own GANACHE! Use good quality chocolate and you'll enjoy every bite. Enjoy! (oh - and the pictures on this blog are thanks to me, myself and I... which is why they're a little lame... but try mixing whipped cream while taking a picture! HA)
Charlotte's Chocolate Tofu Torte
1 1/4 c. dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used the disks so they're already broken up)
1 1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
2 c. light brown sugar
5 eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
pint of strawberries, washed and sliced
1 1/4 c. heavy cream, whipped
Chocolate tofu "buttercream"
1 x 500g silken, firm tofu, patted dry
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. milk chocolate chips
200 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3/4 c. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Temper your chocolate over a simmering pot of water, allow to cool.
Grease and line a 9-inch cake pan.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs (in 3rds) until they're all incorporated.
Pour the cooled melted chocolate slowly into the creamed mixture, beating the batter the entire time. Stir in the vanilla extract and then fold in the flour.
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 1 hour (until it's risen and lightly set) - the cake will wobble a bit when shaken lightly. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool before turning it onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
Once cooled... (I let my cake sit overnight) cut the cake horizontally (use a large knife, and wet the blade with warm water - makes it easier to slice through)... place the strawberries over the base. cover with whipped cream. cover the whipped cream with the remaining strawberries. Place the other layer on top of the base.
Stand the cake on a wire rack over a piece of wax paper (this is important because of the final stage - pouring the ganache over cake makes a bit of a mess).
To make the tofu icing: melt the chocolate over simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat. Place the tofu in your food processor and puree it. It'll become really smooth. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla to the tofu and blend well. Add the chocolate and combine everything.
Now, cover the cake with the tofu frosting - use a palette knife, spread it from the top centre of the cake and over the sides, filling in all the gaps. Refrigerate for 60 minutes.
Once the cake is ready to be glazed, place the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Bring the cream to a bowl and pour it over chocolate. Stir everything with a wooden spoon until it's well combined and smooth. While it's still warm, pour the glaze over the prepared cake.
Use a palette knife to spread the chocolate over the top and sides of the cake. The end result is a rich dessert - not too chocolately because of the berries in the centre... and I topped it with a 1/2 pint of blackberries.
Well worth the effort. I really enjoyed making this, and Charlotte I hope that you enjoyed it! Happy 25th beautiful!