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Chocolate Challenge recipe - Rosana McPhee

Make Rosana McPhee's dessert 'Chocolate Nut Torte with Cherry Meringue ice cream' - Godiva Chocolate Challenge 2015 finalist. 



Serves 8-10Rosana McPhee's Dessert

Ingredients for the torte:

6 large organic eggs     

440g dark chocolate, couverture 72%

220g unsalted butter

320g sugar, divided in 2: 200g and 120g

1 tablespoon of strong coffee

pinch of sea salt 

200ml water (1 cup)

50g flour 

60g hazelnuts toasted and broken

2 tablespoons of Kirsch or cherry liquor, optional


Ingredients for the Ice cream - makes about 1.2L

1 cup whole milk (200ml)

6 large organic egg yolks

125g  white sugar

3 cups double cream (600ml)

1 pod of vanilla

pinch of salt 

400g of Amarena cherry in syrup

10g of dried freeze cherry powder


Ingredients for the Meringue

6 large free-range egg whites

200g caster sugar


Method - Meringue

1) Pre-heat the oven to 140°C, fan 120°C, gas 1. Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.

2) Start whisking on low speed, increasing to a higher speed once the whites begin to double in size.

3) Gradually add the sugar, in tablespoonfuls, whisking all the time. When all the sugar has been added, you will have a gorgeously glossy white meringue mixture. Test the mixture if still grainy carry on mixing until smooth. If you leave it grainy, when it goes into the oven, the meringues will leak sugar syrup during baking.

4) Spoon the mix into circles marked on nonstick baking paper on a baking sheet, using a table knife to make gentle swirls.

5) Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool overnight in the turned-off oven. Reserve in a container with a tight lid.

Rosana McPhee's Chocolate Torte

Method - Ice Cream

1) Heat the milk and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the vanilla seeds and the pod. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Reserve.

2) Prepare an ice bath by setting large bowl, enough to hold 2 litres of liquid, over a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water.

3) Set a strainer over the bowl over the ice bowl filled iced water bowl and set aside.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and the sugar has dissolved. Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. 

5) Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan you used to warm the milk. Cook for 5 minutes or until reaches 80C, constantly stirring, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

6) Strain the custard into the top bowl of the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Add the double cream and stir over the ice bath until cool. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap tightly and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. It makes about 1L of ice cream base.

7) When the ice cream base is completely chilled, place in an ice cream maker. Set to 60 minutes. In the meantime drain the cherry and pour the syrup in a small pan together with the cherry powder and cook slowly over low heat until the powder dissolves. Set aside. 

8) Cut the cherries in half. Reserve.

9) When the ice cream machine reaches 40mins, stop it and add the syrup, the chopped cherries and the meringue crumbled. Reserve meringue for decoration. Continue to churn the ice cream until it reaches 60 minutes. 

10) Place the ice cream in a container and let it freeze overnight. Take out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving. 


Method - Torte:

Cake pan: 9 inches

1) Preheat oven to 170 ° C (Fan).  Prepare the cake pan (approx. 25cm=9 inches) by layering with baking paper with butter and cocoa powder

2) Make the simple syrup with  200g sugar and 200ml of water. Set aside. 

3) Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler. Set aside.

4) Beat the eggs with the rest of sugar until pale and it has quadrupled, about 10 minutes add the sugar syrup, the melted chocolate and margarine mix, coffee, a pinch of salt and the flour. Reserve.

5) Carefully fold the nuts into the chocolate mixture and the liquor.

6) Place in an ovenproof pan, cover with foil and place in preheated oven in a water bath, the water should come up to the top of the pan, so it cooks uniformly. Cook it until firm about 45-50minutes. 

8) Let it cool down completely and take it out of the pan.

9) Dust with cocoa powder and decorate with cherry, serve with cherry ice cream topped with crushed meringue. 


Tip: The torte can be baked in bain-marie individually in well buttered, and bottom lined ramekins, cooking time reduced to 30minutes. Let it cool completely before unmolding them.