Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Toffee and Mocha Brownie Torte for Mom's Birthday

Happy Birthday Momma!!
My mumma is the most determined person I've seen.If you see the stuff she makes,you probably would'nt believe that she has never taken a class .She learned everything she knows by reading up from the internet or from books whenever she can.And although she may make this cake making business look easy,don't fall for it. There are a countless number of late nights and non-stop hours of endless work that she puts into it.And trust me, there is no shortage to the number of times our house has been converted into a full -fledged chocolate factory!!!
Mom's birthday was a few days ago and I was looking for a cake to make.I knew this was a chance to go all out ,so after browsing through a few of the regular baking blogs a stumbled upon this one and it was love at first sight :)What better way to celebrate Momma's birthday than this it's-so-big-it-looks-like-a-UFO cake!!!

WARNING: If you are on a diet,I highly suggest,that you don't read any further. I take absolutly no responsibility for if you lose every ounce of self control after this. Thank you.

It's not often that I get a chance to make a big ,fancy cake,call it a "torte" and make it sound even fancier :p

If there is one word that describes this cake it would probably be "outrageous".
This is probably the biggest, baddest cake I've ever made.
Although the combination of flavours is very cliche', you know, coffee-toffee-chocolate...It's been done a million times before, yet somehow, one little slice of this cake will make you believe that there really is a heaven :)
  Now, midway,during the making of this cake I had pretty much figured out that it was going to end up much, much bigger than I had expected, But Hey,you can't complain when there is too much of a good thing ,right?

If you're planning to make the toffee and mocha brownie torte, make sure you have atleast 20 people to feed. I've lost count of how many people got sent a piece of this cake on the days following mom's birthday.I'm sure they were'nt complaining though!!

Toffee and Mocha Brownie Torte

For the brownies:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 cups sugar
8 large eggs
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt

For the mocha frosting:

3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tsp. boiling water, chilled

For the filling:
16 oz. mascarpone cheese/
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tsp. boiling water
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup reserved frosting (above)

For garnish:
2 cups chopped toffee bits or finely chopped toffee bars


Step 1: Make the Brownie Layers!
  1. To make the brownie layers, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour the edges of three 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Combine the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a few inches of simmering water. Continue heating until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth, stirring occasionally with a spatula. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside. You can also melt them together in a microwave,but in intervals of 30 seconds or the chocolate will seize.
  2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl. (If your heatproof bowl is very large, transfer to a new bowl is not necessary.) Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and salt, and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared baking pans. Gently smooth the batter in the pans. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the brownies are just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pans 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of each pan and invert the brownies onto the rack to cool completely.

Step 2:Don't fidget with the brownies while they cool!!Make the frosting!!!
  1. To make the frosting, add the chilled heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until medium-soft peaks form. Blend in the sugar, vanilla and espresso mixture, whipping just until combine. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve and refrigerate 1 cup of the frosting for use in the filling. Set aside the rest of the frosting.

Step 3: You're almost there!!Make the filling:
  1. To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the mascarpone, espresso liquid, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium speed until well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the reserved 1 cup of frosting with a spatula.
*Salted Toffee filling:
300 ml condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
75 ml milk

You can use this as a filling instead of the above.
Cook the condensed milk on a low flame till it thickens and turns a rich caramel colour.Add in the salt and butter and cook for a few more minuter,stirring with a wooden spoon continuously.Ture off the flam, and add in the milk to thin it down slightly to make it easier to spread.

Step 4:Put it all together!!
  1. To assemble the torte, lay 1 of the brownie rounds to a large serving platter. Spread half of the filling mixture evenly over the top(or the salted Teffee filling,if you are using that.)Layer with another brownie round, and the remainder of the filling(If you are using the salted toffee filling,then use the mocha frosting as a layer for this stage) Top with the final brownie layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the mocha frosting. Garnish with the toffee bits to cover the top and sides of the cake. Use any remaining frosting to pipe decorative swirls around the top edge of the cake, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

There are a lot of variations you could use like white chocolate and cranberry or mint ,orange etc. the possibilities are endless.Also, you can warm the slice of cake slightly in a microwave before eating it,if you'd like.Just don't warm it up too much or the cream may split!!!

         Oh,and if you do make this cake,say thank you and send me a slice :P

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