Fudge Torte with White Chocolate Mousse

I signed up to bring a dessert to our Christmas Bunco tonight and this is what I brought.  It is from the Pampered Chef cookbook called “Chocolate” which is awesome!  And this torte was awesome too!

mousse:

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (I used my Dove Chocolate Discoveries white chocolate)

2 tablespoons water

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 (6″) vanilla bean (To remove pulp from vanilla bean, cut bean in half lengthwise and scrape pulp from bean with small knife.)  (My local grocery store doesn’t sell vanilla beans and I didn’t have time to go looking for one so I just used 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead)

torte:

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (I left this out for my group of non coffee drinkers)

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

ganache:

1 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I used DCD dark chocolate)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1  For mousse, beat cream on high until medium peaks form, set aside.  Melt chocolate and water in microwave, uncovered, on high 1 – 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is mostly melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Beat chocolate mixture, cream cheese, butter and vanilla bean pulp on medium high until smooth.  Fold in whipped cream.  Refrigerate 3 – 4 hours or until consistency of thick frosting.

2  Preheat oven to 300.  For torte, spray 2 cake pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour and line with 8″ circles of parchment paper.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Combined cocoa powder, espresso powder and hot water; whisk until smooth.  Cool 5 minutes; whisk in sour cream.  Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar on medium high until creamy.  Beat in eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  On low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cocoa mixture in 2 additions; beat until smooth.

3  Pour batter into prepare pans, spread evenly.  Bake 35 – 38 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.  Remove pans from oven to cooling racks.  Using clean kitchen towel, gently press cakes to flatten tops.  Cool 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans, cool completely on cooling racks.

4  For ganache, microwave, uncovered, chips and cream on high 1 – 1 1/2 minutes or until mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Carefully cut cakes horizontally in half to form 4 layers.  Place bottom cake layer on serving platter.  Spread with 1/3 of filling, spreading to edges.  Repeat 2 times with 2 cake layers and remaining mousse.  Top with remaining cake layer, drizzle with ganache.  Garnish with white chocolate curls, if desired.

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