I decided to ‘run’ this post a little earlier than usual, so you have plenty of time to make the dessert for Christmas, if you like. My original recipe for Cranberry Chocolate Torte is another tried-and-true flavor sensation, printed on yellowed newsprint.
The original recipe calls for whole cranberry sauce. But this year, supply chain issues resulted in no remaining cans on my favorite grocery store’s shelves. What I did have was two bags of fresh cranberries in my freezer and a dynamite Cranberry Orange Sauce recipe that has become a holiday staple for our family.
But since the original torte recipe does not feature orange, I left out orange zest and substituted water for fresh-squeezed orange juice. The resulting torte flavor is very similar to the original, while my homemade cranberry sauce introduced extra texture to what is typically a smoother dessert.
I also tinkered with the glaze this time. Using currant jelly results in a smooth and tasty glaze. However, I don’t otherwise use currant jelly so went a different route this time. Again, the results aren’t as smooth, but the taste is dynamite.
Whichever versions of this torte and glaze you choose I think you’ll love this decadent dessert. And I hope it brings you much joy during the remaining holiday season.
BTW, I absolutely love the convenience of this little device, when working with eggs. Mine is ancient, but you can find your own, easily, when you search for an egg separator.
CRANBERRY CHOCOLATE TORTE
Makes 10 servings
16-ounce can of cranberry sauce with whole cranberries
OR make your own Homemade Cranberry Sauce (see below)
1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds
1/4 cup sifted flour
7 ounces dark sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1/2 cup currant jelly (if you can’t find this, you may substitute fruit jelly without seeds)
2 tablespoons cranberry juice cocktail or red wine
Ground almonds, optional
(OR use ½ cup of a second cranberry sauce recipe + 2 tablespoons red wine.
To any leftover sauce add 3-4 tablespoons of orange zest
and serve as a side for your holiday meal)
1. Place canned cranberries or homemade cranberry sauce in a small bowl and stir gently until slightly liquid. In another small bowl, combine almonds and flour. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally to blend. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and light. With mixer on low speed, add flour and nut mixture to egg yolks, beating until just mixed. Add chocolate-butter mixture and blend gently. Stir in cranberries and almond extract by hand.
3. Beat egg whites until they hold their shape but are not dry. Fold egg whites into cranberry batter. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely while still in pan. Place in refrigerator until chilled (about 1 hour). When ready to serve, use a knife to release the edge of the torte, and remove it from the springform pan.
5, As the torte cools, combine jelly and cranberry juice in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Brush the chilled torte with warm glaze and allow to set. Give the top of the torte a second coating. Sprinkle with ground walnuts or almonds if desired.
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup water
12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, stir together, cover and bring to a boil.
Leave on high heat until you hear berries popping open.
2. Reduce heat to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Remove lid and simmer for another 15 minutes, to reduce liquid. Cool to room temperature and then add to recipe according to directions.
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I love crafting stories about fantastic food & beverages, must-visit destinations & eco-friendly topics. I wrote a 350+ page book about Kansas. And I've worked with dozens of additional clients - from Fodors.com & AAA magazines to USA Today 10Best & WanderWithWonder.
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