I made this recipe a few years ago and since then I made a couple adjustments to the recipe, including adding a crust. It's one of those desserts that is extremely rich and decadent. If you want your chocolate fix, then this is the recipe for you.
Serve small slices because a regular slice is, well, just too much. Serve this at a dinner party or where you will have lots of guests because this is definitely a dessert best shared. I have ¾ of a torte left in the fridge and I'm wondering if we will be able to finish it. Heck, the peach pie I made lasted a good 5 days and it was far less rich. (That recipe will be posted soon, too.)
I used a 10-inch springform pan. You can use a 9-inch pan but your cake will be thicker and will need an extra 5-10 minutes to bake.
I do not consider this recipe too difficult in terms of technique. There are plenty of pictures to get you through some of the steps should you have issues.
Mocha Chocolate Torte with Hazelnut Crust
Yield: one 10-inch torte
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Wrap 2 layers of foil around the outside of a 10-inch spring form pan, bringing the foil up to the rim. Set aside.
Spread the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a kitchen towel and rub off the brown paper skin (it's ok if not all of it rubs off). Place the hazelnuts in a food processor with the graham crackers, and sugar. Pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter. Pulse until mixture starts to clump together. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
In a small sauce pan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a double boiler set over simmering heat, combine the cream, butter, and chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth. Add the sugar syrup, along with the espresso powder, Kahula, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Remove the bowl from over the water. In a small bowl, beat the eggs. Slowly add the eggs to the chocolate mixture, whisking to combine well. Pour batter into the spring form pan. Place the spring form pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come half-way up the side of the pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the torte no longer giggles in the center. Remove from the water bath, remove the foil, and cool on a rack. Cool completely.
As the torte is cooling, heat the cream until near boiling (little bubbles will form around the sides). Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Pour the ganache over the torte. Refrigerate the torte for at least 2 hours before serving. Before serving, run a knife around the edges of the pan and release the sides of the spring form pan. Serve.
Torte will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.