Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Derby Chocolate Torte With Walnuts And Bourbon

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What if I told you that this dessert is not only scrumptious and easy but it's also gluten free? What if I also told you that it can be put together in less than 20 minutes with ingredients most of us have in our cupboards? AND you need only use one bowl? That's a home run in my books.

I have been wanting to make this torte for a long time.  Finally on Easter Sunday I decided enough time had passed without dessert and it was the right occasion to celebrate.  I could always give some to the neighbors, right? hmm...

I know most of us don't have coconut oil in our pantry but this cake is worth getting a jar.  It keeps well for a long time.  The rest is part and parcel of a well stocked pantry.  You should always have cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate in case of an "emergency".  and nuts.  I always have walnuts, pecans and almonds, slivered and otherwise.

If you have a double boiler,  the top is your bowl where everything is later combined.  You don't need to beat the egg whites separately, as in other flourless cakes, and that is a big "skip" and one less thing to wash. 

Homemade whipped cream keeps well and I had some already in the fridge to go with fresh raspberries.  You can serve it alongside the cake or skip.  I strongly recommend it, just make it ahead.  Add a couple of TB. of powdered sugar and "lace it" with Bourbon if you make it for next month's Kentucky Derby.

As to the nuts, if you don't have walnuts, pecans will do.

The cake keeps best outside for a couple of days.  You can refrigerate it also but the frosting will harden somewhat.  Nothing bad about that.  Nothing.

 If you feel guilty after dessert, just go cut some trees.  We lost a dogwood after the storms.

Chocolate Torte With Bourbon And Walnuts

Serves 10
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 TB Bourbon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup ground toasted walnuts, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, for serving

Serve with Bourbon laced whipped cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with parchment; butter parchment and dust with cocoa.

Melt 1/2 cup oil and 8 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in cocoa, espresso powder if using, vanilla or Bourbon, and salt; fold in ground walnuts. Spread batter in pan.

Bake until set, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely, preferably overnight. Run a knife around edge to loosen; remove from pan.

Melt remaining 2 ounces chocolate and 1 teaspoon oil in same manner as in step 2; spread on cake. Sprinkle chopped walnuts in center. Cut into wedges; serve.

All photos Lindaraxa
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Flourless Chocolate Torte With Walnuts. 


  1. Your torte is beautiful and even sounds doable for a non-baker such as myself. Not sure I would want to share it with too many people though :)

    I can't get over how much greener it is at your house than it is at ours. Funny, I don't think we live that far from you. Our dogwoods are in full bloom, but we don't have leaves on all of the trees yet.

    1. Sam,

      Keep it in your repertoire, it is EASY and delicious. You know I am also a non baker myself.

      Yes it is green but there has been a lot of damage to anything that blooms. The azaleas and cherries were a non event even though the Southern azaleas promise to be spectacular. It seems that past years' non performers are taking center stage this Spring.

  2. This looks delicious!! Just as I found out I am gluten intollerant you come up with this! Mental telepathy. Will try it this week end.

    I lost a HUGE old oak tree in the last storm. It was just uprooted. I'm going to post it. Awful. It was over 100 years old.

    1. Gluten free or not it's fantastic and easy! I know, loosing the old trees is the worst part of all.

  3. yup, it's a winner. I am a serious chocolate addict. Lately I've been making crispy chocolate cookies to keep on hand to satisfy my chocolate craving... this is a great alternative. Many thanks.


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