Recipe of the Week, December 9: Chocolate Walnut Torte
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 38 cookies)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
German Chocolate cake mix
1 ½ cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350. Place cooking parchment paper or waxed paper in
bottoms of 3 round pans, 9x1½”. Stir together walnuts, crushed
cookies, brown sugar and butter. Spread about ¾ cup mixture in
each pan; reserve remaining mixture. Make cake as directed on
package. Pour about 1 ¼ cups batter over mixture in each pan
Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly.
Immediately remove from pans to wire rack and peel off paper.
Beat whipping cream, granulated sugar and vanilla in chilled large
bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Place l layer, walnut
side up, on serving plate; spread with about ¾ cup of the whipped
cream. Repeat with remaining layers and whipped cream. Or place
whipped cream for top layer in decorating bag fitted with star tip. Pipe
rosettes in center of cake. Cover and refrigerate.
Notes: Cookies are easily crushed in food processor, or by placing in
zip-lock plastic bag and smashing with a rolling pin or meat mallet (just
think about that idiot that cut you off in traffic). Any chocolate cake mix
can be used (or if you’re a glutton for punishment-your favorite
from-scratch recipe). You can also use pecans instead of walnuts.
If this is going to be made ahead and held, I use Cool Whip instead of
the whipped cream topping-the taste isn’t as yummy, but it’s more stable.
A variation is to use a yellow cake mix instead of chocolate, and pecans
instead of walnuts. There’s a more pronounced brown sugar taste; call it
Brown Sugar Crunch Torte.
Scrumptious. I think this was originally an idea I got from a Betty Crocker
recipe, then I changed it a bit.
Chocolate Leaves, if desired
5 to 6 fresh nonpoisonous (unsprayed) leaves (such as lemon, grape or rose leaves) or pliable plastic leaves
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 1 oz semisweet baking chocolate
1/2 teaspoon shortening
To make chocolate leaves, wash and dry leaves. In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Using small brush, brush chocolate about 1/8 inch thick over backs of leaves. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm. Peel off leaves, handling as little as possible. Cover and refrigerate torte about 4 hours or until chilled. Store in refrigerator.