Necessity may be the Mother of Invention but a healthy appetite and an interest in food is certainly Auntie to Culinary Inspiration. So, what do you do on a Sunday afternoon in a long weekend when the munchies strike?

I scour the cupboards and  the refrigerator for some ideas.

Today I assembled this little lot.

Storecupboard ingredients

Storecupboard ingredients

Inspired by the White Chocolate Torte recipe that I often use for a fast dessert for a special meal, I whipped up a dark chocolate and orange version using Mascarpone. The original recipe uses cream, I normally sub Crème Fraîche.

Melt the chocolate, crush the biscuits

Melt the chocolate, crush the biscuits

Form the biscuit base, slacken off the Mascarpone

Form the biscuit base, slacken off the Mascarpone before mixing with the chocolate

For good measure I made up a batch of orange praline to dress the plates. Right now I am considering making an orange glaze for the top of the torte, once it is firm enough to take it.

We cannot possibly eat all of this ourselves so, if you find yourself passing, do pop in for a slice and a mug of coffee.

Unnecessary Torte

  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 g Amaretti biscuits, crushed. Ratafias will do, Digestives won’t. If they still made Orange Barmouth Thins, I’d bet they’d be fabulous…

Mix the biscuit crumbs into the butter and use to line the base of a 7″ (approx) loose bottomed flan tin.

  • 1 bar Lindt Excellence Orange Intense, melted
  • 1 tub Mascarpone cheese
  • a little sour cream/yoghourt/cream/crème fraiche/milk to slacken the cheese – your choice. I used Sour Cream, to take the edge off any sickliness.

Slacken off the cheese a little so that it mixes easily with the chocolate… Use a large dollop of the mix to stir into the chocolate first then tip that mix into the remainder of the cheese and whip it together quickly. Spread over the biscuit base whilst still malleable. If you work fast, you’ll  get a better finish than I did.

Fill the tin

Fill the tin, smooth the top as best you can

Leave to chill.

To make the praline:

Heat approx 100 g caster sugar in a heavy bottomed pan until it first melts and then turns dark golden brown. Stir in a good handful of roasted nuts and remove from the heat before it burns. Pour onto a silicone sheet or a lightly oiled baking tray and leave to cool. Break up into pieces and grind or crush to a fine powder – I added some dried orange peel at this stage.

Crush or grind the praline - finer than this is better

Crush or grind the praline – finer than this is better

You could use the praline to top the torte off, or to accompany it as a decorative item on the plate. I still think an orange glaze would be pretty damn wonderful… and I am thinking of a batch of under-boiled marmalade that I have. I could quickly boil some up just now. Drizzle with cream to serve, if wished (and your hips will accommodate it).

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