Velvet Chocolate Torte
Yes, it really does serve 12, it is so rich! If you do not have a springform tin, spoon the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl, cover with clingfilm, then freeze. After thawing for 20 minutes the chocolate will be ready to spoon on to serving plates and be decorated with strawberries. You can make half the quantity if you prefer, or simply cut off and thaw the amount you wish to serve and leave the rest in the freezer.
Prepare ahead: The torte can be frozen in the tin for up to 3 days. For longer freezing, once the torte is firmly frozen remove it from the tin, wrap in more clingfilm and seal in a plastic bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- 200g dark chocolate (39 per cent cocoa solids)
- 100g caster sugar
- 6 tbsp water
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 600ml double cream
- To decorate:
- 12 large strawberries, hulled and sliced
- A little single cream
Oil a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed or springform tin and line with clingfilm. Break the chocolate into sections and drop into a processor. Process for 1 minute or until just a few pieces remain in the otherwise powdery chocolate. Alternatively, finely grate the chocolate.
Measure the sugar and water into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Now turn up the heat and boil briskly for 3–4 minutes to obtain a thin syrup.
Set the processor running and pour the hot syrup through the funnel on to the chocolate so it melts. Add just a little more boiling water if some unmelted chocolate remains. Next, add the egg yolks and process for a few seconds before adding the brandy. If you are not using a processor, beat the ingredients together.
In a separate bowl beat the cream to a soft, floppy consistency then fold in the chocolate mixture. Spread in the prepared tin, levelling the top with the back of a spoon, then cover with clingfilm and transfer to the freezer for a minimum of 6 hours to freeze.
Take the torte from the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Remove from the tin, strip away the clingfilm, put on a plate and leave to thaw; it should still be slightly frozen when it is cut into wedges for serving.
Place a wedge of chocolate torte in the centre and arrange a sliced strawberry around each serving.
Drizzle a little cream over each portion, if liked, and serve immediately.