On February's Show: Heavenly Chocolate Torte

1 recipe chocolate ganache
5 whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare ganache. (If previously prepared and cooled, return ganache to original warmed/melted state).
Beat eggs, sugar and flour in stand mixer for 6 minutes - until light and fluffy.
Place ganache in mixing bowl and slowly begin to add beaten egg mixture, stirring gently until fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
Generously grease 10 or 12-inch spring form pan with vegetable spray.
Pour chocolate mixture into pan, place on baking sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
When baking is done, torte will be slightly shaky in the center - this is okay as it will firm up when cooled. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate 4-6 hours.
Remove outside of springform pan and use plate or plastic wrap to invert cake.
Carefully separate bottom of pan from cake (use spatula or knife to assist).
Using serving plate or stand, flip cake back over to original position,
Dust with powdered sugar. Excellent served with ripe berries.

Chocolate Truffles

1 recipe chocolate ganache
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
1 cup cocoa powder
Coating Options:
sweetened, shredded coconut
cocoa powder
chopped nuts (pecans, pistachios, etc)

Chill ganche until firm. Scoop out 1 heaping teaspoon portions of ganache and drop into cocoa powder, coating all sides. Lift out chocolate and, using bare hands, roll into small ball.

Repeat with the rest of the ganache and place chocolate balls on flat surface. Using toothpicks or a fork, drop truffle into melted chocolate, coating all sides. Lift out and gently roll truffle through desired coating (cocoa powder, coconut, chopped nuts). Place on flat surface to dry.

Store in the refreigerator.

Note: Flavored extracts (mint, rum, cherry) can be added when ganache is prepared to create lucious flavored truffles!

Lucious Hot Chocolate

This couldn't be simpler - once you have your chocolate ganache on hand!

Mix 1/4 cup ganache into 6 ounces hot milk. (1 serving)
If making a larger batch, heat 8 cups milk in saucepan and
add 1 full recipe chocolate ganache. Stir until fully incorporated
and piping hot. (8 servings)

Top with marshmallows or whipped cream

Easy Chocolate Ganache

While standard semisweet chocolate chips are perfectly delicious and acceptable in this recipe, specialty chocolate (chips, bars, or chunks) with 50-65% percent cocoa will give your ganache a heavenly complex flavor.
Remember: a double boiler is useful - but not required for this recipe. A tempered glass bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water works perfectly!

12 oz. semisweet chocolate (chips, morsels, or chopped bars)
1 cup heavy cream
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla

Bring 1-2 inches of water to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat. Place double boiler top pan or tempered glass bowl on top of saucepan and add cream, butter and vanilla. Heat mixture until butter is melted and mixture is heated through - not boiling (reduce heat to low). Add chocolate and stir frequently with spoon or whisk until chocolate has melted and is completely incorporated - this doesn't take long! Enjoy!
Serve over fruit, cake or any dessert. Eventually the ganache will thicken as it cools.
It can be used as a basis for truffles, tortes, frosting, or hot chocolate.