"flaming torte" from Germany
The tortes begin with a thin, crunchy-edged pastry crust. The term "flaming" refers to the high
temperature at which they are baked rather than a dish in which the alcohol is ignited. The
"traditional" flaming torte is topped with smoked bacon, Muenster cheese, grilled onions and
tarragon Another is covered with wild mushrooms and baby spinach.
Chocolate Rum Pecan Torte
This torte is a flourless cake that uses ground nuts as a substitute. Many people are surprised when they hear of a cake being flourless and speak almost reverentially about the cake they have just tried. Unlike breads, which rely on a complex, three-dimensional glutenin network derived from wheat proteins to provide structure, cakes are dependent on the egg proteins and wheat starches for structure. For delicate cakes, a special cake flour can be used, derived from soft wheats that are especially low in protein content. Notice in this and other flourless cake recipes the inordinately large number of eggs called for. The eggs tend to compensate for the loss of available starch when nuts are used as the "base."
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped very fine
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 ounces butter, unsalted and at room temperature
3 fluid ounces dark rum
1 pound shelled pecans
1. Take the butter from the refrigerator at least thirty minutes before it will be needed.
2. Shell the pecans if necessary; being careful to remove any bits of shell or membrane, and reserve 8 of the best for garnish.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
4. Prepare a parchment-lined 10-inch springform pan.
5. Melt one pound of the chocolate over simmering water in the top of a double boiler.
6. In an electric mixer, separate the eggs and whip the whites with 3/4 cup of the sugar until firm peaks form and the egg whites are glossy.
7. Using the mixer, cream eight ounces of the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
8. Heat the rum to a simmer to evaporate the alcohol and allow to cool.
9. Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and beat two minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix thirty seconds more.
10. Add the rum.
11. Add the egg yolks, scrape down the bowl, and beat one minute.
12. Grind the pecans to a fine meal and stir them into the batter.
I3. Gently fold in the egg whites and stir to a uniform consistency.
14. Pour batter into the parchment-lined springform pan and bake for one hour or until set in the middle.
I5. Allow to cool and refrigerate several hours. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment.
16. Prepare the glaze by melting 8 ounces of chocolate with 2 ounces of butter. Place the cake on a wire rack and carefully pour the glaze over the cake, using a spatula on the sides to ensure complete covering. Allow the glaze to set.
I7. Garnish with reserved pecan halves
1 box white cake mix
1 jar or can cherry pie filling
1 8-ounce carton whipped topping (thawed, not frozen)
1 large Butterfinger candy bar, crushed or shaved
6 (or more) sugar cubes
Drain cherry pie filling, saving the liquid. Prepare the cake mix according to packing directions. Let cool 10 minutes. Turn the cake upside down onto a piece of wax paper. Crush or shave the candy bar. Save to use later on top of cake. To flame: Soak (6 or more) sugar cubes in lemon extract in a small cup or plastic container. Place cake on plate. Spread 1/2 or 3/4 of the jar of pie filling over the top of the cake or cut cake in half horizonally and spread filling between the two layers. Frost with whipped topping. Place 6 dollops of remaining pie filling on top of whipped topping. Nestle soaked sugar cubes in each dollop. Turn out lights and light the cubes! You may substitute yellow, chocolate, spice or any other flavor cake mix, and use peach or apple pie filling, according to taste.