13 December 2006

Almond-Orange-Poppy Seed-Chocolate-Apricot-Ricotta Torte

Oh no, too many wonderful flavors all at once, make it stop!
How can they possibly taste good when they are all thrown together like that?
Surprisingly, they do. I don’t know how it is possible for each of those ingredients to come together in one dessert without them getting in a brawl and seriously injuring themselves, but somehow they all get along and bring out the best in each other.

The almond torte is refreshing and light, yet still a substantial dessert. It is both fruity AND chocolat-ey, but not too fruity, and not too chocolat-ey. The poppy seeds lend a bit of texture, while the ricotta keeps it moist and delicate.

Your guests will enjoy themselves while trying to identify the many flavors:

“Is that orange zest I smell?”
“Do I taste poppy seeds?”

“I detect a hint of almond, I do, I do.”

“These chocolate shavings are divine!”

“I taste apricot, but I don’t see it.
Where is it? Where are you hiding, little apricot?”

“And what makes this torte so moist? Why, it must be ricotta! I knew it!”

When you confirm all of your guests’ ingredient hypotheses, they will be delighted.
But not as delighted as you when your guests leave, and you slip into the kitchen for sliver after sliver after sliver of torte, and try to figure out what it is about this torte that is so delicious and different from other tortes, and why you want it in your mouth all the time.

Almond-Orange-Poppy Seed-Chocolate-Apricot-Ricotta Torte
~adapted from Jame Oliver's Jamie's Kitchen

Ingredients (all at room temperature)
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 ounces almonds (Jamie uses hazelnuts; I couldn't find any)
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
zest of 1 orange (oh so easy if you own a microplane grater!)
3 tablespoons flour
4 1/2 ounces ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
a pinch of salt
3 heaping tablespoons apricot jam (I used apricot and cherry)
1 3/4 ounces good quality dark chocolate, finely grates (another job for the microplane!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter or spray an 11-inch loose-bottomed tart pan and line with wax paper.
Toast almonds (or hazelnuts) on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes, until lightly golden and aromatic.
Allow them to cool, then 'whiz' them up in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Jamie says, "Be careful not to overwhiz."

Wash and dry the bowl of the food processor, then beat the butter and sugar until pale (alternatively, use a whisk). Add the egg yolks, one by one, and the orange zest.
Stir in the flour, ricotta, almond powder, and poppy seeds.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold them into the almond mixture. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top has some golden-brown color to it.
While the torte is cooling, cook the jam in a small saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water. Bring to boil and brush the glaze over the torte.
When the torte is cool, sprinkle the torte with the grated chocolate.
Jamie recommends serving with crème fraîche.


aria said...

all these flava's, wow! i think i'd have to hurry off my guests as well so i could be alone w/ sliver after sliver of my tart. this looks like a good one to make xmas day w/ the fam. tis embookmarkened :)

Vida said...

I was wondering what else could I add to my chocolate-orange crêpes. Seems I have the answer. How about an Almond-Orange-Poppy Seed-Chocolate-Ricotta crêpe?

Brilynn said...

That looks super, but we need to work on a name for it... perhaps s.o.a.p. c.a.r. torte... Ok, maybe that acronym didn't work so well,I'll keep thinking...

Rachel said...

beautiful! I love it!

Toni said...

That looks fabulous. I wish I had a piece right now to savor with my cup of coffee.

Kristen said...

Gorgeous photos and I love your writing style. Very nice job!

Alicat said...

looks fabulous and has possibly the longest name of any dessert I've seen. :)

Erielle said...

Aria, I think it's a perfect choice for Christmas day. You'll love it!

Vida, mmmmmm.....chocolate-orange crêpes. How delicious! I think these ingredients would work well. The almond powder is flour-y, though. Is that okay to have a flour-like substance in a crêpe filling? If not, you could use almond extract.

Brilynn, what about O.C.R.A.A.P.S torte? That doesn't necessarily represent the torte, but yes, I definitely need to shorten the name. Jamie Oliver calls it 'Hazelnut Torte,' but it's so much more than that.

Rachel, thank you!

Toni, I have never had this with coffee, and I bet it would be superb. Darn, I just finished my coffee, and I have one sliver of torte left in the fridge. Guess I have to make another torte! And more coffee!

Kristen, thank you so much!

Alicat, yes, it's a long name. I'll have to work on that. I can't just pick one ingredient, because they are all so important. Maybe I'll just call it Good Torte.

Shannon said...

I sadly do not have a food processor. If I were to buy almond meal instead, how much do you think I would need? (I'm not sure how much you would have after processing those almonds to a powder.)

Erielle said...

I think it was about a cup and a half of almond powder, maybe a little more. I sadly do not have a scale, so I don't know if I had exactly 4.5 ounces of almonds in the first place. The good thing about Jamie's recipes is that he is not finicky about his proportions. So, maybe put in a cup of almond flour, then if the batter seems too thin, add some more. It was about the same consistency as cake batter.

Vida said...

Floury, indeed. I'll try to replace half the flour in the crêpe batter with almond powder, and we'll see what happens.

Tammy said...

Where have you been hiding all this time? I've been giggling myself silly for the past half hour -- I'm so glad I found your blog. I do believe I shall be making this torte for XMas. Giddyup.

beenzzz said...

Oh my! That is to die for! I'm salivating just thinking about it!

Tammy said...

Torte made, and torte devoured. Almond for hazelnut substitution equals good call. Thanks for sharing.