Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chocolate tortes are a year-round dessert (as the strawberries prove)

This weekend was the first in recent memory that was absolutely glorious, Friday through Sunday: finally, a real Spring weekend! And now that tomorrow is Memorial Day, summer will “officially” begin for me and for most of the city. The farmer’s markets are overflowing and the distinctive jingle of ice cream trucks are heard well into the evening (Side note: last week I was walking to my apartment at 10:45 p.m. when I heard the famous tinkling tune from a nearby street, sending an uncomfortable shiver down my spine, as empty playgrounds at midnight or abandoned insane asylums are liable to do. There is a certain time of night when hearing an ice cream truck is altogether eerie. End side note).

With all of the signs of summer at my door, one would think that I’d be searching for recipes for tropical fruit granitas and chiffony Cool-Whip pies. Well, while that might be true, my eyes are still always open for a rich chocolate dessert, such as the delectable fudge torte that I made yesterday. It was garnished with strawberries, though, and that is very summery, no?

Unfortunately, the few strawberry slices atop the chocolate do not make for a light warm-weather treat: this torte really is appallingly unhealthy-sounding, so if you’re the type who uses the phrase “swimsuit season,” then perhaps it’s best to wait on this one until it’s “baggy sweater and corduroy” season once again.

As usual, my solution to a particularly…luxurious dessert is simply to share the wealth. Luckily, I was at home in Connecticut for the past couple of days (working in an actual kitchen with a window and an oven timer and a real cake pan!), and what kind of person would I be if I didn’t whip up a torte for my family on Memorial Day weekend? (Insert obvious answer here).

The most wonderful aspect of this torte, easily, it its taste; the second is its utter simplicity. Aside from bake time, it was a very quick dessert to pull together, and it can be dressed up quite easily. And as beautiful as the presentation has potential for, it will still be topped by that first forkful of blissful fudgey-ness.
Chocolate Fudge Torte


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries


Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
In a pan over low heat, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until melted.
Remove from heat and add sugar and eggs, and stir until blended.
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, then mix in flour
Pour into pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Cool in pan 10 minutes, then place on a cooling rack.

To make glaze: combine chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and corn syrup in pan. Stir over low heat till chocolate chips are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Pour over the top of torte and spread onto sides. Garnish with sliced strawberries. Chill until set.

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