Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Velvet Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte

This is such a heavenly pudding, it's a gooey chocolate fallen souffle with 'THE' flavour de l'annee, salted caramel. The recipe is from Green & Black's Ultimate Chocolate cookbook that I was given as a Christmas present. It was hard to choose a pudding to make at the weekend as everything in the book looked so good! But my Grandpa loves caramel and I'd never attempted it before so I chose this one. The contributor of the recipe said that 'there must be something in the alchemy of salt, deep caramel and darkest chocolate. Something highly addictive I'd warrant, a truly divine pudding' and I couldn't agree more. Before I tried salted caramel, I didn't really see what all the fuss was about yet it was appearing everywhere. I'm not really a fan of salt, always feeling really thirsty after I have it and knowing that it raises your blood pressure. But when I tasted salted caramel, I suddenly understood why everyone goes crazy for it. And of course, it's a miniscule amount of salt so you don't have to worry, yet it cuts through the sweet caramel and enhances its flavour.
You should make this pudding a few hours before you want to serve it as it needs time to cook and then cool and you serve it at room temperature, although I think it would be even better warm (but be careful that the caramel isn't scalding hot). As I said, it was my first attempt at making caramel and I was a bit worried when reading that you should keep a bowl of ice cold water nearby. But it was fine, just keep it in a deep pan at arm's length and stand back when adding the cream. Also keep watching it like a hawk so that it doesn't burn, it changes very quickly and if a tiny bit gets burnt, it will taint and bitter the whole batch so you'd have to start over again.
The pudding is perfect for a dinner party but I had some trouble when serving it, it looked great but it collapsed when serving into bowls. I served it with some Carte D'or vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients -
For the caramel:
175g golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons water
120ml double cram
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
120g unsalted butter, cubed

For the torte:
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
160g unsalted butter, cubed
175g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g ground almonds
5 medium egg yolks
6 large egg whites

Cream or good vanilla ice cream to serve (I don't think you can beat Carte D'or)

1. Make the salted caramel by pouring the sugar into a heavy based pan and add the water. Heat gently, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Then turn the heat up to medium high and allow the syrup to come to the boil undisturbed. Simmer briskly and watch like a hawk until the caramel turns a rich amber colour (mine took a little longer than I expected but don't let it burn or you'll have to start all over again) Swirl the pan to prevent hot spots but don't stir or the caramel will clump and crystallise. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and salt (be careful and stand back) then stir in the butter cubes until a smooth caramel forms. Set aside to cool.

 2. Then preheat the oven to 180c and line a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment.
 3. Melt the chocolate, butter and sugar together - either with a heatproof bow over boiling water or do what I did and put it in the microwave on low, stirring and heating until all dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth then mix the vanilla and almonds, followed by the egg yolks, one by one.
4. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Fold 1 large tablespoon into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon or spatula and then fold in the rest, trying to retain as much air as possible. Scrape about 2/3 batter into the tin, then make a dip in the centre and spoon the caramel into the dip. Then top with the rest of the chocolate, smoothing to the edges.

5. Bake for about 30-40minutes until puffed and barely firm. Leave to cool completely in the tin, it will crumple in the centre. Slice and serve at room temperature with ice cream.
NB - When I cut into the cake, caramel came running out so make sure you have it over a big surface so you can scoop it all up!

The Caramel started leaking out!


  1. I'll try. It looks yummie!

  2. I have made this and it is incredible. Seriously you will have everyone falling in love with you...

  3. I have a question- how on earth do you get the parchment out from under the springform tin when you transfer baked cake onto the serving plate??? :-/