Grand Marnier Chocolate Pecan Torte


8 oz Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup Sugar, divided
6 Egg yolks
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/3 cup Very finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup Dry bread crumbs
7 Egg whites

4 oz Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
2 tsp Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1/3 cup Very finely chopped pecans
Grand Marnier Whipped Cream

3/4 cup Heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp Powdered sugar
2 tsp Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1 Fresh orange, thin skin variety


Torte: Melt broken chocolate in double boiler, stirring constantly, or microwave on medium for about 3 minutes. Set aside. In the small mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually adding 1/2 cup of the sugar; mix until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, liqueur and vanilla; beat until creamy. Transfer to larger bowl. Fold melted chocolate into creamed mixture. Use a food processor or blender to chop pecans to a coarse powder. Combine nuts with crumbs and fold into chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites with salt, gradually adding remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture; fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into a buttered 9"" springform pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 350-F on bottom rack for 45-50 minutes or until center is firm. Cool on rack. Cake will sink slightly in the center. Remove pan and liner. Top with Chocolate Ganache Glaze and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Decoration.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze: Finely chop chocolate. Heat cream until hot. On very low heat add chocolate, stirring until smooth and thick. Remove from heat. Stir in liqueur. Turn torte, top side down, onto serving plate. Arrange strips of waxed paper under cake edge to catch excess glaze. Pour glaze over top and sides of cake. After a short time, run excess glaze up sides of cake. Cover sides of cake with nuts. Remove waxed paper strips. Chill cake while preparing topping.

Grand Marnier Whipped Cream Decoration: Whip cream with sugar and liqueur until it holds a shape. Do not overbeat. Pipe rosettes or form a ring of whipped cream around top of chocolate glazed torte. With a sharp knife cut peel from orange. Slice into circles; cut into quarters. Place oranges around cake on top of whipped cream. If preferred, sprinkle grated orange rind over whipped cream. Cake should be stored in a cool place until served.

Servings: 8

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