" The Pelican Brief" Supreme Torte

Webster's defines a torte as "a rich cake." If that isn't enough to get you cooking, you don't deserve this sweet treat!

You will need:

For the torte:

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 8 oz. high quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup toasted and ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt

For the frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 ounces toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 double culinary-law degree

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Butter the pan bottom and line with parchment, then butter the paper and the insides of the pan. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour in the buttered pan and rotate a few times to distribute the flour. Tap out excess flour and set aside

    2. Break chocolate into pieces, combine with the honey and butter and melt over a double boiler. (If you don?t have a double boiler, fit a ceramic mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with 2" of water. Bring the water to a simmer and melt slowly, stirring occasionally. (The low heat is important; if the chocolate gets too hot it may become grainy.)

    3. Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, set aside to cool a few minutes.

    4. While the chocolate cools, separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls. Add vanilla to the yolks and beat until smooth. Slowly stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then stir in the crushed almonds and flour; set the mixture aside.

    5. Beat whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar and salt; whisk until soft peaks form. Stir a few tablespoons of the beaten whites into the chocolate to loosen, and then gently fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture until combined. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared springform pan and bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. The cake will still be slightly soft at the center and fully set around the edges.

    6. Allow to cool before inverting onto a serving platter and removing the parchment from what is now the top of the cake.

    7. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour the warm chocolate mixture over torte and spread with a spatula. Garnish with nuts and strawberries.

    8. If asked to help cleanup, cite the controversial legal precedent of Chef v. Slacker, 1892. Then rest your case (And anything else that needs a rest.)

    Makes one 9" torte



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