Cooking time: 30 minutes plus freezing
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 16 servings
â€¢1-1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (about 25 wafers)
â€¢1/4 cup sugar
â€¢1/4 cup butter, melted
â€¢4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
â€¢1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips
â€¢4 ounces white baking chocolate
â€¢1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
â€¢1/4 cup water
â€¢5 egg yolks
â€¢1/4 cup sugar
â€¢1 cup half-and-half cream, warmed
â€¢1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
â€¢Semisweet chocolate chips, melted and Chocolate Almond Pinecones (recipe also in Recipe Finder), optional
â€¢Combine the first three ingredients; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Place each flavor of chocolate in a separate bowl; set aside. In another bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand for 1 minute or until softened.
â€¢ In a small bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually whisk in half-and-half.
â€¢ Transfer to a large saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until a thermometer reads 160° and mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.
â€¢ Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Immediately pour a third of the egg mixture over each flavor of chocolate; quickly stir each until melted. Cool for 10 minutes.
â€¢ In a large bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped cream into each bowl. Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with milk chocolate mixture, then white chocolate mixture.
â€¢ To serve, carefully run a sharp a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove side of pan. Garnish if desired by drizzling with melted chocolate to create pine boughs and topping with chocolate Almond Pinecones. Yield: 16 servings.
Editor's Note: Torte can be prepared 2 days in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.