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Frozen Grand Marnier Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries

Frozen Grand Marnier Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries

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  • 1 9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chilled sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel


  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 cups fresh cranberries or frozen, partially thawed, divided
  • White chocolate curls (optional)

Recipe Preparation


  • Finely grind cookies, chips, and sugar in processor. Add melted butter; blend until wet crumbs form. Set aside 1/2 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.


  • Whisk first 3 ingredients in medium metal bowl. Set over saucepan of simmering water and whisk vigorously until candy thermometer registers 175°F, about 8 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Add spices. Using mixer, beat until thick and cool, about 5 minutes.

  • Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream, sour cream, Grand Marnier, orange juice concentrate, and grated orange peel in large bowl until peaks form. Add egg yolk mixture and fold together. Pour 2/3 of filling into crust. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup crumb mixture. Gently spoon remaining filling over. Cover; freeze overnight or up to 3 days.


  • Whisk Port and cornstarch in large skillet to blend. Add sugar, honey, and spices. Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring often. Add 3 cups cranberries; cook until mixture boils and cranberries begin to pop but still hold shape, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining 2 cups cranberries. Chill topping at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • Release pan sides from torte. Transfer torte to platter. Spoon topping over filling. If desired, garnish torte with white chocolate curls.

Reviews Section

From Bon Appétit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful Bon Appétit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild and Bon Appétit Magazine Editors

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  • Categories: Cakes, small Dessert
  • Ingredients: cake flour egg whites sour cream butter sugar confectioner's sugar whipping cream vanilla extract

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Most Myself when sharing food

I came across a recipe that calls for two of my friend's favored desert items, and it made me happy. It made me read and re-read the recipe because I look forward to making it for my friend. It has many steps, which is normal for a big find. I like to make sure I have the ingredients, so that when the next opportunity arrises, I'll make this thoughtful item, and my friend will know just how special her friendship is to me.

It's like when my two year old can find and get the right words out. The smile that , makes his face glow is very clear. Ahh, she gets it! What a relief to be understood.

That is why soon, very soon, I'll find my springform pan, and I'll break out my food processor, mixer, and dirty up every bowl and spatula I have to make the Frozen Grand Marner Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries from the December 2006 Bon Appetit. After all, a special recipe like this must be practiced a few times before her birthday this summer!

And, because I do have said 2 year old underfoot, I should take my notes now. just in case something should happen to my "ancient" magazine.

-choc. cookies, .5c choc. chips., 3 Tb. sugar, 7 Tb. melted butter. process, press into 9 inch. pan.
-8 yolks, 1 c. sugar, .25c. H20, .5 t. nutmeg, 1/8 allspice, 2c. H. whipping cream, .5 sour cream, 5TB Grand Marnier, 3 Tb Orange Concentrate, 1 Tb., orange peel.
-.5c. ruby Port, 1tb. cornstarch, 1 c. sugar, 1/4 honey, 1t. nutmeg and allspice, .5t cinnamon, 5c cranberries, wht. choc. curls

For filling, whisk first 2 ingredients, whisk in double boiler for aprox. 8 min., remove from heat then add spices, and beat until thick and cool/5 min. Then beat creams, and GM, Juice, peel, till peaks form. Combine. 2/3 of it on crust, cover with reserved .5 c. crumb mixture, Then top. Chill overnight.

An Egg in a cheese sandwich!

Long time no post, but talk about food has been on my brain. I need an outlet!
We have finally seen the end of our run with blueberries and Honey Nut Cheerios. For a month, they were JAZZED about the frozen blueberries and sweet crunchy Os. But all things change. I think it was when I started thawing the blueberries with a splash of boiling water that the tide changed. I thought I was so clever about taking the big chill off, but they weren't slushy anymore, and that apparently was most of the fun.

My new breakfast "discovery" is cheese sandwitches with an egg in the middle. You make the sandwich as normal, butter in hot pan, bread, cheese, toast.. then cut a hole in the middle. Crack an egg into the well made by sandwich on top of hot pan. Cook, Flip. Yum. Today I had mine with some micro greens and home made vinagrete, but in the morning it will be served with some juice flung in the glass by little Miss. M.

Frozen Grand Marnier Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries - Recipes

This luxurious, pretty tart would make a perfect vegetarian entrée or appetizer served with a simple, leafy green salad – perhaps tossed in a toasted walnut oil dressing.

The richness of the Stilton is perfectly complemented by the tart, fresh cranberries, toasted walnuts and sweet caramelized onion this is a tart for special occasions that’s best served warm or at room temperature.

I suppose you could take a shortcut by buying a ready-made pastry shell but that would be a pity because the crust recipe here is wonderful and provided you have a food processor, is really simple to make one short extra step, resulting in a tender crust that will have your guests begging for seconds.

You can make the pastry ahead of time as it needs an hour in the fridge before rolling it out and once you’ve lined the tart tin with it, it will need another 30 mins in the freezer before baking it blind. Use a clean wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin and you’ll need a 9 inch (23cm) loose-based tart pan.

All of this can be done the day before and you can even prepare the cranberry and caramelized onion filling ahead of time (assemble the tart just before putting it in the oven).

If you aren’t making your own pastry, skip the first part below.

Cranberry, Walnut & Caramelized Onion Tart with Stilton.


Ingredients for the pastry crust:

1 cup (240ml measure) of flour

2/3 cup (160ml measure) of walnut pieces

1/2 teaspoon of Colman’s dry mustard powder (optional)

3 oz (85g) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2-3 tablespoons of very cold water

Put everything but the water into a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until big clumps form. Scoop the dough out of the processor, gently form it into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Roll the pastry out onto a floured board, drape the pastry over the rolling pin and lower it into the tart pan. Don’t worry if it breaks or falls apart – just gently push the dough into place with your fingers, making sure you have an even thickness throughout. Prick the base all over with a fork then stick the raw crust in the freezer for 30 mins.

Heat the oven to 375F (190C). Bake the pie crust for 15-20 minutes or until it’s golden. Remove from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the filling, below.

Ingredients for the filling:

1 large onion, finely sliced or chopped

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 cup (240ml measure) of fresh or frozen cranberries

4 1/2 oz (130g) of walnut pieces

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

8 fl oz (230ml) of c rème fraîche or heavy cream

3 oz (85g) of blue Stilton, crumbled

Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat and add the onions. Stir to coat, and turn the heat to low. Add the sugar, a pinch of salt and fresh thyme. Stir frequently until the onions are soft, golden and caramelized. This can take up to 40 minutes. Once they’ve started to turn golden, you can add a splash of water and put a lid on the pan until the onions are almost of a melting consistency. You don’t want any liquid left.

Add the cranberries, turn the heat up slightly and stir until the cranberries start to ‘pop’. Take it off the heat and remove the thyme stalks.

Toast the walnut pieces while the onions are caramelizing spread them on a baking tray and bake for 8-9 minutes in a 350F (180C) oven until golden and fragrant.

Fold the walnuts into the cranberry/onion mixture and set it aside until you’re ready to assemble the tart.

To bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Tip the cranberry/onion/walnut filling into the pre-baked pastry crust and smooth the top. Scatter the crumbled Stilton over the filling.

Whisk the eggs and c rème fraîche/heavy cream together and pour this evenly over the tart filling.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving better still, allow it to cool for 30-40 minutes.

Frozen Grand Marnier Torte with Dark Chocolate Crust and Spiced Cranberries - Recipes

Just in case you haven’t eaten enough dessert over the past two weeks, here’s another of those wonderful flourless chocolate confections – the combination of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate creates an absolutely heavenly cake with just the right amount of nuttiness one of my favorites and totally worthy of a mention here.

This cake freezes well or keeps in the fridge for about 4 days but bring it back to room temperature before serving. I decorated it with home made hazelnut praline and a scattering of edible gold dust for a festive look but you can use chopped roasted hazelnuts or just leave it plain.

Serve with or without a dollop of whipped cream on the side.

Ingredients for the torte:

6 oz (170g) of best quality chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips such as Ghirardelli)

4 oz (114g) of whole hazelnuts

2/3 cup (11 tablespoons), plus 3 more tablespoons of fine white sugar

4 oz (114g) of unsalted butter at room temp

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the glaze:

6 oz (170g) of best quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

½ cup (118ml) of heavy (double) whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Butter a 9 inch (23cm) spring-form cake pan and line the base with a round of baking parchment. Butter the parchment and dust the inside of the pan with a little flour, knocking out any excess.

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water (Use a Pyrex glass pan so you can see what’s going on here). Stir until smooth, then cool.

Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a shallow roasting pan and toast in the middle of the oven until they turn golden – about 7-10 minutes. Wrap them in a cloth and rub the skins off as much as possible. Don’t worry about any remaining stubborn bits of skin. Cool them completely.

Transfer the nuts to a food processor and add 3 tablespoons of sugar – grind until fine.

In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter with the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the salt, vanilla and melted chocolate. Finally beat in the hazelnut mixture and combine everything well.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold about a quarter of the whites into the cake mixture to lighten it, then continue with the remaining whites using a gentle cutting motion until everything is well blended.

Spread the batter evenly into the spring-form pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack then invert onto a serving plate – peel off the parchment.

Put the chocolate into a small metal bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan and pour over the chocolate stir until completely smooth and allow it to thicken for about 20 minutes.

Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the torte and garnish with chopped hazelnuts. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 2 hours until the glaze is set. Keep cool and covered loosely or freeze. Be sure to bring it back to room temp before eating.

Make a stunning holiday dessert

The holidays are a time to celebrate what we love most — family, friends, health, and … chocolate! A single bite of chocolate can fill you with warmth and happiness, while a beautiful dessert can be a simple delight even in the darkest of times. A gorgeous chocolate dessert is basically edible joy, which is why it most certainly deserves a place at your table this holiday season.

While there are lots of fantastic recipes that showcase chocolate, there's one that truly embraces all chocolate has to offer: our Flourless Chocolate Cake. It’s fudgy, dense, dark, and utterly satisfying. The only thing that’s debatably lackluster is its one-note appearance. This holiday season, that’s about to change!

Bring a little extra joy to your holiday table this year by making a beautiful dessert that's both festive and gorgeous.

In its simplest form, this cake is still quite elegant. By dressing it up with some extra flair, it becomes a next-level dessert. (Photo by Kristin Teig)

Start with the base recipe

Our Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe starts with a few pantry staples, plus a couple of optional ingredients. It also calls for chocolate in two forms — Dutch-process cocoa and chocolate chips — to ensure the chocolate flavor shines.

This recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder to ensure the chocolate flavor is smooth and not acidic. If you're looking for a more intense chocolate experience (or it's all you have on hand), you can use an equal amount of natural cocoa powder the cake will still be amazing.

The base recipe also calls for these optional ingredients:

Before you add them to the mix, consider the full personality of your dressed-up Flourless Chocolate Cake. To incorporate seasonal flair, there might be even more delicious flavors you want to add .

Add a festive flavor

Instead of the espresso powder and vanilla, you can substitute a full range of other ingredients. Embrace whatever flavors say “happy holidays!” to you.

Here are just a few ideas, complete with a recommended range for how much to add — it’ll vary quite a bit based on your flavor preferences, so tweak the amounts you stir into the cake batter accordingly:

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon mint extract or 3 to 4 drops peppermint oil
  • 1/4 cup (66g) eggnog
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (29g to 43g) spiced rum or brandy
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (14g to 29g) Grand Marnier (or another orange-flavored liquor)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or Gingerbread Spice

Feel free to use what’s in your pantry, tweaking the amounts to taste. Just be sure not to add more than 1/4 cup (57g) of additional liquid that’s about all this batter can handle before it starts to compromise the cake's texture.

Give it a red hue

If you celebrate a holiday where red is an iconic color (like Christmas), you can give your Flourless Chocolate Cake a slightly red tint. (Think Red Velvet Cake!)

If food dye is welcome in your kitchen (either traditional or natural), simply swirl in some red coloring once the batter is prepared. Tip: Follow the recommended ratios for achieving a red color based on the manufacturer’s instruction the amount needed will vary by brand.

Or if you’re looking for a more subtle red tint, use Burgundy Cocoa Powder (also known as cocoa rouge), which has a beautiful reddish glow to it. In addition, add about 3 tablespoons (43g) tart cherry concentrate (made from real cherries, simply boiled down) or pomegranate juice to the batter before baking.

Ganache glaze

However you end up flavoring your Flourless Chocolate Cake, you’re going to want to include the luscious chocolate topping called for in the recipe: a basic ganache. With just two ingredients, chocolate and cream, you’ll wonder how anything could taste so divine.

After you’ve chosen the flavors for your cake and allowed it to cool, make the ganache. You’ll need:

This is another place where you can amp up the cheerful flavors by adding one or two additional ingredients to the prepared ganache. You won't need much – here's the maximum amount you'd want to use of any of the following ingredients (you can always use less for a more subtle approach):

  • 1/4 teaspoon of strongly flavored extracts and oils
  • 1 teaspoon of rum, brandy, or other liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon of non-concentrated liquids like eggnog and pomegranate juice

Use the same flavoring ingredients that are in the cake, as you don’t want flavors competing. (No one likes fighting on the holidays!)

Stencil a design on top

Once your cake is baked, cooled, and glazed, it’s time to get creative. And the easiest way to make this cake look extra-fancy? Use a stencil to add a decorative design.

To make a custom stencil, you’ll need a sheet of sturdy paper (card stock is ideal), a pair of scissors, a small sifter, and preferably Snow White Non-Melting Sugar (or confectioners’ sugar if that’s all you have on hand).

Start by tracing the cake pan onto your piece of paper so you know how large the design can be. Then draw a simple shape or design within the circle, keeping in mind you’ll have to cut it out with scissors. (Don’t go overboard!)

Solid shapes are best: A Christmas tree, Santa hat, the star of David, mini menorah, or family initials are all fun ideas.

Decorate your cake with symbols tied to a specific holiday, or choose a more generic design like stars and polka dots for a dessert that can be used to celebrate anything and everything! (Photo by John Sherman)

Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut out your design so that the shape becomes empty space.

When you’re ready to add the design on top of your cake, first make sure the ganache is set. (If not, either wait a bit longer or chill it in the fridge to encourage faster setting.)

Gently set the stencil down on top of your cake, or recruit someone else to hold the stencil steady, hovering about 1/4" above the cake.

Use the sifter to evenly cover the design with a thin layer of Snow White Non-Melting Sugar, making sure the shapes you've cut out are completely filled in.

Carefully remove the stencil to reveal your gorgeous design.

If you don’t want to make your own stencil, pick up a pack of doilies at your local craft store. They make beautifully stenciled designs.

Creative garnishes

Now it’s time to add another layer of flavor and visual appeal – you’re going to present your cake with style!

To top off your cake, use an edible garnish that will complement the flavors in your cake. Here are some seasonal ideas:

  • Sugared cranberries (use the instructions for making sugared cranberries in our Lofty Layered Fruitcake recipe)
  • Chopped mint-chocolate candies sprinkled around the border, or sugar-coated mint leaves
  • Candied citrus (my fellow blogger, Rossi, outlines how to make your own in this candied citrus post)
  • Fresh berries dusted with Snow White Non-Melting Sugar or confectioners' sugar

Or you can use other festive props to elevate the look of your dessert. Here are some options:

  • Rosemary sprigs tucked underneath and around the edge of the cake
  • Set it atop a cake stand wrapped with twinkling lights
  • Surround the cake with gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil) because, well, more chocolate!
  • Present the cake on a festive platter or light a small menorah beside it

Whatever will bring you and your family joy, go for it! Get creative here.

Combine your approaches

You’re most certainly not limited to using just one of these techniques in your next Flourless Chocolate Cake. On the contrary, we encourage you to mix and match! Dream up your ideal chocolate cake, combining flavors with visual appeal, and complete the experience with a gorgeous presentation. Make something so beautiful you must take a picture.

Here are some ways you can combine the approaches:

  • Mint extract + Christmas tree stencil + border of chopped mint candies
  • Burgundy Cocoa + tart cherry juice + sugared cranberries on top
  • Spiced rum + border of sparkling sugar + rosemary sprigs garnish
  • Grand Marnier + candied citrus garnish + presented on a cake stand
  • Star of David stencil + border of gold-wrapped gelt + presented with Hanukkah candles

These are just a few of the ways you can dress up a Flourless Chocolate Cake with festive flair. The possibilities are endless. Choose what works for your taste buds, style of baking, and the holiday you’re celebrating. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Let us know what dessert you’re most excited to bake this season in comments, below.

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Whichford pots

For a birthday more years ago than I care to remember, but in England so more than 21, we had an outing to Whichford Pottery to look for a suitable present for me and the garden. We came home with three very attractive terra cotta pots which had been made by hand there. The largest was a “second” because it is slightly asymmetrical. Having attempted to master pottery on a wheel subsequently I can’t imagine making something this size.

They survived the journey across the Atlantic and are a welcome feature in our garden each summer we store them carefully each winter because, although they may well be frost resistant in English winters, they are unlikely to survive the freeze/thaw of our Montreal climate.

I enjoy seeing them in a group when the deck was larger (before the sunroom was built) I used to have the largest in the corner with the two smaller ones near it. For several years we kept a lovely standard hibiscus with apricot coloured flowers in the largest pot for the summer, moving the plant indoors for the winter. It eventually became too big to manage and was gratefully accepted by a friend who had a large conservatory/sunroom. The smaller ones I planted with toning shades of Million Bells type petunias.

Since the deck was reduced in size we’ve placed the pots in front of some tall grasses to one side of the grassy area where they form an attractive feature. The biggest pot calls for something tall and structural so for the past few years I’ve planted it with Canna lilies which have orange and red flowers with nasturtiums in the smaller pots beside it. When I was growing and overwintering dahlias I put some dwarf ones in the smaller pots but decided dahlias were too much work a few years ago.

Last year we had another cool spring and the nasturtiums did not germinate well. I had to buy some more seed and have a second attempt so this year (2019) I am experimenting with a different approach: bought pansies in the small pots early in planting season with a packet of nasturtium seed to bring on indoors, for planting out later in the summer when the pansies are over. Mid to late summer it should be a reasonable temperature indoors for the nasturtiums to germinate but hot enough outdoors for them to grow fast. We shall see!

Watch the video: Entertv: Τάρτα με πράσα από τον Βασίλη Καλλίδη Α (July 2022).


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