Hello, everyone! I'm back from Florida and am sorting through my pictures now. I can't wait to tell you all about my fantastic trip. In the meantime, a little thing called Thanksgiving is coming up next week. Side note: where has this year gone?? How is it already mid-November??
As I've already mentioned, I love this time of year. There's a crispness in the air that makes you want to bundle up and eat good food. When I saw this recipe for a chocolate pumpkin torte, I knew I had to make it. It combines so many of my favorite fall things: pumpkin, chocolate, and cake! I made this for a Halloween party, but I think it would work just as well for Thanksgiving.
This torte was kind of a pain to make. People were raving about the final product, so maybe it was worth it? If you're going to make it though, just know in advance that it's fussy.
My first mistake in making this cake was not really understanding the shape of the cake. I thought I'd be cutting it in half horizontally, but you're supposed to cut it vertically. That would have made life so much easier. If I make this cake again, I'll definitely do it in a jelly roll rather than a cake pan.
Also, there's a lot of chilling time with this cake. Avoid unnecessary down time by making the pumpkin filling while the cake is baking and the ganache while the assembled cake is chilling.
Chocolate Pumpkin Torte
Recipe adapted slightly from here
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar [I used my blender to turn regular sugar into powdered sugar]
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped [I used chips]
- 5 oz evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- toasted nuts for garnish [I used walnuts]
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a jelly roll pan (15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1") by lining it with parchment paper. Lightly coat the covered surface and sides with baking spray and set aside. [Note: my easy-bake oven can't fit a pan of that size, so I decided to use a round cake pan instead. I just doubled the recipe and made two cakes, cutting each in half to give me four layers.]
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on medium speed for about two minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until the eggs are light in color, about two minutes more. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, 1/4 cup sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir the vanilla into the water. Add the cocoa mixture to the eggs, alternating with the vanilla water on low speed until the batter is smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the batter.
- Spread the batter evenly into the jelly roll pan and bake for about 14 minutes. The cake should spring back at the touch. [My cake pans each took around 45 minutes to cook.] Invert the pan on a lightly dampened towel and remove the liner. Cool the cake completely.
- Combine the pumpkin and flour into a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to bubble and boil. [Mine never really boiled. I cooked it for around 6 minutes and then took it off the heat.] Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Combine the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, beating well. Add the sugar and continue beating until it is light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin mixture and combine well. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Cut the cake into four even pieces, crosswise. [I didn't do this, but wish I had. Doing it this way means you don't have to cut the cake in half horizontally.] Place one piece on a serving dish and spread about 3/4 cup of the pumpkin filling on top. Continue with the next layer and the filling, ending with a cake layer. Chill the cake.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the chocolate chips, evaporated milk and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let it cool until it is lukewarm.
- Spoon the ganache on top of the chilled cake, letting it drizzle slightly over the sides.
- Add a few toasted nuts to the top of the cake as garnish. Chill the cake about 30 minutes before serving.