Tag Archives: torte

Amaretto Truffle Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished SliceThe Amaretto Truffle Torte is one of the most intense, decadent tortes you will find.  Comprised of a Riene de Saba base, caramel, roasted hazelnuts and a chocolate ganache infused with Amaretto it is as sleek and sophisticated as a torte can be.

The  Riene de Saba base is one we used for several desserts at the bakery.  I used it in my first post for this blog, the Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte.  I like it because of its depth of fudgey chocolate flavor.  It is about 1/2 inch tall, perfect to hold whatever tops it and it freezes well which allows it to be made ahead. The only caveat is it shouldn’t be overbooked or it will dry out.

The caramel  for the Amaretto Truffle Torte has to be made at least the day before but can be made a week before if desired.  It should be stored in the refrigerator if it is made more than a day ahead.  To make it spreadable, microwave it briefly just to the point of spreadability.  Do not stir it vigorously as it may granulate if you do.

The filling is a simple but intense chocolate ganache.  Amaretto liqueur is fortified with almond and vanilla extracts. Continue reading

Pumpkin Mousse Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

This recipe contains raw egg yolk and as such may not be the best choice for the elderly or very young. Although, I haven’t tried it, I can’t think of a reason the egg yolk can’t be omitted and still have a good dessert.

Pumpkin Mousse Torte I can’t even remember when we started making these at the bakery.  I do remember it took many tries to get the amount of gelatin just right so it would keep it firm but not turn rubbery, a sure sign of too much.  But I can sure tell you we sold hundreds and hundreds.

As popular as it was with my clients, I don’t think anyone could love this more than my grandson, Sam.  I do remember we had gone to Chicago to take care of him for a few days so his parents could have a weekend get-a-way.  Sam was still in a high chair and was a hugely picky eater – something that dismayed all of us. In an attempt to get something into him, I gave him a bite of my pumpkin mousse.  Well, that sure opened the floodgates!  I couldn’t scoop the dessert into a spoon and offload it into his mouth fast enough.  He barely swallowed and his mouth would fly open again for another bite.  He reminded me of baby birds being fed by their moms!  Sam even requested it for his 7th birthday cake.  Not an unusual request, except it was July in St. Louis.  Hot, hot, hot and humid!   Did I mention it was outdoors?

This is a very straight forward recipe with little to trip you up.  Just make sure everything for the pumpkin mousse is at room temperature.  Then the warm gelatin needs to be poured in a steady stream while the mixer is running.  If the pumpkin mixture is cold, the gelatin can immediately set forming undesireable rubbery blobs.  Very unappetizing!

A cheesecake pan is, as always, my recommendation over a springform pan.

A reader brought to my attention the need to do something with the leftover pumpkin. If you go  Streusel Topped Pumpkin Muffins  and you make  1 1/2 times the recipe you will use the remaining 3/4 can of pumpkin.  If you are a tad short, that’s fine.  They also freeze beautifully.  Continue reading

Orange Cranberry Cake – A Holiday Specialty

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished sliceOrange Cranberry Cake is one example of my love of cranberries.  Their tartness allows them to be paired with sweet items perfectly.  As oranges and cranberries go so well together, I decided this year to come up with a light but intense cake with depths of flavor that also looks stunning.  This Orange Cranberry Cake was the answer.

The orange chiffon cake is as light as a feather.  It is delicious on its own and can be baked in a tube pan, loaf pan or bundt pan if you want a more simple version.  We paired this at the bakery with a passion fruit buttercream for an unusual flavor combination for wedding cakes.  As with all chiffons, it is easy, easy to make.  Basically all the ingredients except the egg whites and a portion of the sugar are mixed in one bowl.  While the egg whites are beaten with the sugar to the soft peak stage.   The most important thing to watch with this cake is to make sure your egg whites are not overbeaten. Eight to ten minutes later the layers are done.  They will be very thin and that is how they should be. These can be frozen for assembly later if desired.  I realize most people don’t have 5 cake pans.  If you don’t see yourself using multiple cake pans very often, consider buying 9″ foil cake pans that are disposable.  Although I generally don’t spray the sides of the pans, if these are rippled or crimped, spray well.

The Cranberry Filling can be made a week ahead of time.  If tasted seperately, it seems tart.  But every other component in this cake is sweet and the tartness is the perfect addition to cut the sweetness. Continue reading

27 Layer Tuile Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished Whole, CutA variation of this magnificently layered Tuile Torte appeared in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”.  It  is actually easy to make but it is time consuming. The fact that most of it can be done ahead makes it very possible.  Fourteen layers of tuile and 13 layers of mousse are a show stopper any way you look at it.  There is another view of a slice of the torte in the slide show above on my banner.

A series of tulle layers made on the bottom of an upside down 9″ round cake pan is the time consuming part.  How fast it goes depends upon how many pans you have and how fast you can spread the batter.

When I first went into business, there was one caterer who loved this so much, he served it at every upscale party they had.  When I had to make 20 of them, I pulled this from the list of available desserts.  I heard about it to the day I closed.  But 280 layers isn’t fast no matter how many pans you have or how fast  you are. Continue reading

Lamington Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Lamington TorteThis Lamington Torte is an adaptation of Australia’s much loved snack, Lamington Squares. Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut.  The sponge can also be split and filled with whipped cream or jam.

However, in researching this treat, I found that here in the states the cake usually runs to a butter cake. The recipes did stay true to the original powdered sugar icing.

I liked the idea, but I am not a fan of sponge cake except in a few instances where nothing else will do.  My Lamington Torte consists of four layers of yellow butter cake, raspberry jam filling and a rich chocolate ganache rather than the powdered sugar based icing.

I also use sweetened coconut that is toasted then flattened with a rolling pin so it lies flatter than regular coconut.  Toasting coconut is one of those things in baking where you need to be around, as it has to be stirred every few minutes to achieve a luscious deep golden brown.  Unless, of course,  you go to have lunch in the den with your husband and leave the timer in the kitchen.  When you do that this is what your coconut will look like. Continue reading