Monday, April 23, 2012

Chocolate Silk Torte and the Nenana Ice Classic

Spring in Fairbanks goes fast.  Once is warms up the snow really starts to melt.  The rivers start to flow, the geese are in town and we are outside starting the yard work.  One very fun part of Spring is the Nenana Ice Classic.  This is a guessing game where you purchase tickets and each ticket is a guess. A tripod is set up on the Tanana River and hooked up to a clock on the bank.  When the tripod moves enough down river the clock is triggered to stop and the person closest to guessing the time wins.  This year the winner or winners have a jackpot of $338,062.
This year, for our 13th anniversary, my husband gifted me 13 tickets.  I have my guesses entered and I'm ready to win.
I'm not exactly sure what I'll do with all that money, but we do have a wedding in July!
I'm big on celebrating, so I began practice celebrating with this chocolate silk torte.  We already had a few things to celebrate by the end of the week, it was Friday, my friend is starting a new job on Monday and the snow is really melting.  What a perfect way to celebrate than with the chocolate silk torte I saw on Galley Gourmet (see link here).  This torte is chocolaty, rich and with the raspberries, over the top.  It was so good and so easy to make.  I'll be making this again when I win the Ice Classic.  It is very rich so this torte serves a lot of people.  I'll need that once I win. I think I'll have a few extra friends!
What would you do if you won the jackpot?

French Silk Torte
serves 12-16
from Galley Gourmet

For the Crust
3/4 cup pecans, toasted in a 300º F oven for 20 minutes
1 cup walnuts, toasted in a 300º F oven for 20 minutes
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of Kosher salt

For the Filling
1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
12 Tablespoons ( 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 extra large eggs
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pts. raspberries

For the Crust
Line a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pecans, walnuts, and brown sugar and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped.  Pour the nut mixture into a medium bowl, add the butter and salt, and stir until the nuts are evenly moistened.  Press the nut mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

For the Filling
Melt the chocolate and espresso in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  While the chocolate is melting, combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Switch to the whip attachment and add the eggs, two at a time, mixing well after each addition; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until well blended, about 2 minutes (the mixture will look curdled).

Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir until smooth and warm but not hot.  With the mixer on low, add the chocolate to the egg mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low speed until the chocolate is fully incorporated.  Add the cream and vanilla and mix until blended.  Spread the filling over the crust and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  The torte can be made and refrigerated 2 days in advance.

For the Topping
In a chilled bowl, whisk together the cream and sugar until soft peaks form.  Using an off-set spatula, spread the topping over the chilled filling top with rows of raspberries (torte can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours at this point).  When ready to serve, run a hot, dry knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the torte, remove the pan sides and transfer the torte to a serving platter.  Slice the torte with a hot, dry knife and serve chilled.  Enjoy!

April 23, 2012     Daylight  16 hours, 11 minutes,  49 seconds     Current Temp.  48 ºF


  1. We'll keep our finger crossed for you - hope you win (or did win). You certainly know how to celebrate in any case, your torte looks decadent!

    1. Sad news, I did not win this year. The nice thing about Alaska is you can depend on the river freezing next year and I can try again.


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