French Chocolate Brownie Torte


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Although the brownies are rather simple, the elegant French ganache tops it off for a beautifully presented dessert.

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  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • Eggs and oil specified on the mix box
  • 1 pint of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • Chambord raspberry liqueur or Godiva chocolate liqueur
  • French Ganache:
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 oz. whipping cream

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Pour the brownie mix in a bowl. Put in the specified number of eggs (for regular brownies, not cake-like). Put in the specified amount of oil. Instead of the water, measure out and pour in the same amount of liqueur. Mix the brownies by hand until fully stirred. Carefully plop in the raspberries. Make sure they are not all in one blob. Gently fold the berries into the brownie mix. Spray a springform pan with oil and pour in brownie mix. Follow the time and temperature on the box for a 9x9-inch square pan (even though you'r using a round one). Add 5 minutes to the baking time because the liqueur and the fruit take a little longer to bake. Make sure they are moist but not runny. Take the brownies out to cool.

To make ganache, chop up chocolate into small pieces (not grated). Put the pieces in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble on the sides this won't take long - maybe one minute - so keep an eye on it). When it's just barely boiling, pour the cream over the chocolate. Using a whisk or a fork, stir together the cream and chocolate until it's smooth, dark, shiny, and irresistible. Stir until all chocolate chunks are melted. This will only take a minute or two. If you still have lumps, it means cream was not hot enough. If this happens, you can zap it in microwave for 30 seconds or so on high and stir again, but be careful not to let the chocolate burn.

Set brownie torte on a plate with a lip around the side so the frosting doesn't run all over the counter. Place your brownies on your chosen platter. Remove the sides of your springform pan and then pour on the sauce. Add the ganache before serving. You can do this either just before serving for a warm dessert or an hour or two ahead of time and stick it in the fridge. You can start by pouring in the middle and just have it drizzle down the sides or you can have it run down the sides. You can decorate the dessert by adding raspberries on top or line the edge with pecans or walnuts, whole or chopped.

Variations: You can use orange liqueur like Cointreau or Grand Marnier. With this version, there is no fruit on the inside but you can garnish the plate with mandarin orange segments. Real pretty and refreshing in winter.

Blackberries inside will make your torte dark and mysterious. You can use Cassis for your liqueur or use a chocolate liqueur--even Kahlua. You can use no fruit, use Kahlua as your liqueur, and then garnish with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

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