Rich Dense Chocolate Pecan Torte

Caramel pecan crust:

1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed

Chocolate filling:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 large egg yolks
1 3/4 cups heavy cream

Cocoa cream:

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the caramel pecan crust:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, combine the nuts, sugar, nutmeg, flour and butter. Process until the nuts are crushed and the butter incorporated.
  3. Press the crumb mixture gently onto the bottom of the cake pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Let cool completely.

Make the chocolate filling:

  1. In the top of a double boiler, over hot, not simmering water, melt the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring frequently. Remove the double boiler from the heat. Whisk in the egg yolks.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly pour the hot cream into the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined.
  3. Pour the filling on top of the crust in the pan. Chill for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the torte from the refrigerator. Using a small, sharp knife, loosen the sides of the torte from the pan and remove the side of the pan. Allow the chocolate to remain at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Make the cocoa cream:

  1. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together the cream, sugar, cocoa and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (such as Ateco #4) with the cocoa cream. Pipe shells or rosettes in straight lines over the top of the cake, covering it completely.
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