Yield: 8 servings
Melt 6 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is smooth. Set aside.
Dissolve the 1 T coffee in 3 T boiling water; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with waxed paper, and grease the waxed paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, gradually add 1/3-cup sugar. Increase the mixing speed to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form. (The meringue should be shiny.)
In another large bowl, whip the yolks, the remaining 1/3-cup sugar, and the salt until thick and lemon colored, approximately 5 minutes. Slowly add 6 ounces of chocolate and 1 Tbsp coffee; beat until well blended. Gently fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Carefully, but thoroughly fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake on the center oven rack for 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 5 minutes with the oven door closed. Transfer the pans to a wire rack (the centers will fall). Remove the waxed paper while the cake is warm. Cool completely.
Frosting and Garnishing:
For the frosting, melt 4 ounces of milk chocolate as directed for the cake. Dissolve the coffee in 1/4 cup boiling water; add all at once to the chocolate, stirring continuously until smooth. Cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.
To assemble the torte:
Level the top of each layer by cutting off the raised edges with a long serrated knife. Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread the layer with 1 cup of chocolate whipped cream. Top with the remaining cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the torte with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle to the top with 1 oz Bittersweet Chocolate shavings.
Recipe and image used with permission and provided by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
Please note that some ingredients and brands may not be available in every store.