chocolate velvet torte

I tried this recipe as we were about to go away for a week but were hosting friends the day we got home, so everything needed to be prepared in advance. I also had a lot of unused double cream in the fridge, which I didn’t want to waste.

I was worried it might be a bit dull – the recipe is very simple – but I actually really liked it. Eaten as a frozen torte with fresh berries it was a lovely chocolatey end to the meal. I dusted it with cocoa powder rather than the suggested icing sugar, which I think worked particularly well as it gave a bitter and slightly grown-up edge to the pudding.

There was too much mousse mixture for my tin, so I made a second smaller torte in a clingfilm-lined bowl. This was in the freezer for almost a month but it tasted just as good as the first torte. This time we had leftovers which, having been left in the fridge overnight resulted in a really nice mousse.

In other words, make the full quantity and enjoy an excess of chocolate velvet over a few meals.

Mary Berry’s Velvet Chocolate Torte (serves 10)

200g plain chocolate

100g caster sugar

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons brandy

570ml double cream

To decorate:

icing sugar, sifted (abby note: I used cocoa powder instead)

12 large strawberries, sliced (abby note: I used a mix of fresh berries)

single cream

Line a 20cm loose-bottomed or spring-form tin with cling film and oil the film.

Break the chocolate into pieces and drop into a food processor. Blend for one minute or until just a few pieces remain in the otherwise powdery chocolate. Alternatively finely grate the chocolate.

Measure the sugar into a small pan with 90ml water and heat gently over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Turn up the heat and boil briskly for 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes a thin syrup. Set the processor running and pour in the hot syrup through the funnel onto the chocolate so that it melts and becomes liquid. Add just a little more boiling water if some unmelted chocolate remains. Add the egg yolks and process for a few seconds before adding the brandy. If you are not using a processor, beat the ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream to a soft floppy consistency, then fold in the chocolate mixture. Spread in the prepared tin, levelling the top with the back of a spoon, then cover with cling film and transfer to the freezer for a minimum of four hours to freeze.

To serve, remove from the freezer, release from tin and transfer to a plate. Allow to soften a little and serve about 20 minutes after coming out of the freezer. Decorate with the fresh fruit (cocoa powder, if you are using it) and icing sugar. Serve with a little cream.