I love baking cakes for friends’ birthdays, especially when the person whose birthday it is has a unique request. In this case, my friend Steve wanted something with cardamom and chocolate, which I was excited about because it’s not a combination I’ve made before.
I browsed through a bunch of recipes, finally settling on this one, which was originally for a flourless chocolate cake with orange zest, cardamom, and chocolate. I left out the orange zest and added 2 tbsp of flour because it seemed like a practical thing to do. I’m not sure if this is technically a torte, because I couldn’t find a precise definition of what a torte actually is, but it’s rich and chocolatey and full of cardamom flavor (which is AWESOME with chocolate, I’m now happy to know).
The ganache is definitely optional – the torte alone is plenty rich – but for a birthday or other special occasion I think it’s a nice touch.
(adapted from Chez Us)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 lb (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9″ springform pan and line the bottom with wax paper or parchment. Spray with nonstick spray.
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on medium until combined.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the chocolate and cardamom.
Scrape down the bowl, then gently stir in the flour, mixing just until it disappears.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Set the rack over a jelly roll pan for glazing with ganache.
(adapted from ivillage.com)
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
4 cardamom pods, crushed open with the back of a knife
1/2 tsp corn syrup
chopped unsalted pistachios (optional)
Heat the cream and cardamom in a small saucepan until the cream simmers. Turn off the heat and let stand 30 minutes.
Put the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl and bring the cream back to a simmer. Pour through a mesh strainer and stir into the chocolate until smooth and glossy. Pour evenly over the torte, then chill for about an hour to set the ganache. Garnish with some chopped pistachios if you wish.