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La Belle Cuisine - More Chocolate Treats

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Chocolate Banana Rum Torte


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Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"



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Chocolate Banana Rum Torte
Gourmet March 1992

  For the spongecake:
1 1/4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups pastry flour
cup cornstarch
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
cup hazelnuts, ground

For the filling:
3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons dark rum
2 ripe large bananas, mashed
4 cups well-chilled heavy cream

For the syrup:
2 tablespoons dark rum
cup sugar
1 cup water

For the ganache:
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

Make the spongecake: In a small heavy saucepan melt the chocolate with the butter over low heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.  In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and pale and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted.  In another bowl with cleaned beaters beat the egg whites until they are frothy, beat in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar a little at a time, and beat the whites until they hold stiff peaks.  Fold the whites gently but thoroughly into the yolk mixture.  Into a bowl whisk together thoroughly the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and hazelnuts and fold the nut mixture and the lukewarm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.  Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-2-inch round cake pan and bake the spongecake in the middle of a preheated 375-degree F. oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.  Let the spongecake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, invert it onto the rack and let it cool completely.
Make the filling
: In a large metal bowl let the gelatin soften in the rum for 2 minutes, set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir the mixture until the gelatin is dissolved.  Remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the bananas, and let the mixture cool.  In a chilled bowl, beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks, fold it into the banana mixture, and chill the filling, its surface covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes, or until it is stiffened but not yet set.
Make the syrup
: In a small saucepan combine the rum, sugar, and water, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let the
syrup cool.

Assemble the torte
:  Transfer the spongecake to a work surface and slice it horizontally into 3 layers.  Arrange 1 of the cake layers on a cardboard round, spread it with one-third of the syrup, soaking it completely, and spread it with one-third of the filling.  Top the filling with a second layer and brush the layer with half of the remaining syrup.  Spread the layer with half of the remaining filling and top it with the remaining layer.  Brush the layer with the remaining syrup, cover it with the remaining filling, and chill the torte for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set.
Make the ganache
: In a large heavy saucepan bring the cream just to a boil and remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate, stirring until the mixture is smooth, and let the ganache cool for 3 minutes.  Transfer the torte on the cardboard round to a rack set over a baking pan, pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a spatula and letting the excess drip down the side, and let the torte stand for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the ganache is set.


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