A Sweet Affair

Usher in autumn with a dessert party

You turn the page of your calendar and there it is, September. Autumn. The weather changes and we begin entertaining indoors again.
How about an evening getting reacquainted with friends after the summer activities? Make it simple and host a dessert party. Who doesn’t like dessert?

Prepare several desserts yourself or have each friend bring one. Put out after-dinner liqueurs, some special coffees and teas, and the work is done. All you need to prepare is a dessert that reflects the ease and elegance of the gathering. Flourless chocolate torte is rich and delicious and doesn’t take much time or effort to make. The torte is so decadent and rich that an eight-inch pan serves twelve, so keep the slices thin.

Relax and enjoy a sweet evening with friends welcoming September.

RECIPE: Flourless Chocolate Torte

INGREDIENTS

7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and sugar an 8-inch-diameter springform pan. Wrap foil around the outside of the pan. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. (The chocolate and butter can also be melted in the microwave—be sure to check it often if you use this method.) Whisk eggs, sugar and espresso powder in large bowl until well blended. Whisk quickly into chocolate mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours (cake will be about 1/2 inch high). Remove cake from water bath. Cool. Serve with whipped cream and garnish with raspberries or strawberries.

Serves 12.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit.

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to diningin@madisonmagazine.com.

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