White Chocolate, Coffee and Macadamia Torte

Once again, I decided to make something from the GBBO cookbook. I'd seen this recipe being made on the show by Cathryn and thought it looked yummy! The result looks pretty because of the feathering technique applied to the ganache. Mine went a bit funny!

Ingredients for the sponge
200g macadamia nuts
75g ground almonds
200g white chocolate

8 egg yolks
6 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp milk
For the filling
1 tbsp brandy

1 tbsp espresso powder
250g mascarpone
For the ganache
170g white chocolate

100ml double cream
2 tsp brandy
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

1. Preheat the oven to 160. Line the base of two loose-based 20.5cm cake tins with baking paper. Grind the macadamia nuts in a food processor, watch until they start to clump together then stop. Tin onto a baking-paper-lined plate and leave to dry out for about 5 minutes. Then add the ground almonds.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and leave to cool. Put the 8 egg yolks, sugar and vanilla paste in a mixing bowl and whisk using an electric mixer until thick. Fold in the nuts with a metal spoon. Then add the melted chocolate and the milk. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add into the other mixture in three batches. 
3. Divide between the tins and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tins to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and leave until cold.
4. To make the filling, dissolve the espresso powder in the brandy. Then add the mascarpone. Cover and chill.
5. To make the ganache, heat the cream until almost boiling then pour over the chocolate and stir until melted. (I had to pop mine over a pan of boiling water to finish melting the chocolate.) When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, add the brandy. Spoon a quarter of the mixture into another bowl and add the espresso powder. Leave both to thicken. 
6. To assemble, place one of the sponges upside down on a plate. Cover that in the mascarpone filling, then pop the other sponge on top. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake.
7. Spoon the coffee ganache in a disposable piping bag and snip the end off. Pipe parallel lines across the torte. Feather with a cocktail stick or cake skewer across the lines, left to right, right to left etc. Leave in the fridge to set. 

I found this to be a very time consuming and complex recipe. To be fair, I didn't make it easy for myself by not having two of the right size tin, so had to bake the cakes separately. I also didn't line the tins right, so the crinkled edge of the paper effected the edge of my torte. My ganache was also not set enough so ran off the sides and was a bit thin on top. I really enjoyed the feathering, it was very effective! And, the biggest disappointment was I didn't really enjoy it... The flavours all worked well together but I didn't enjoy the nutty, grainy texture of the sponges. Oh well! 

Lots of baking planned for this week so will be posting again soon! X Bo


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