Chocolate Bliss Torte
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces 60% cacao chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli chocolate)
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 T vanilla
Spread the pecans and walnuts on a small baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
Place the nuts and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and with the machine running, add the melted butter in a slow stream through the feed tube and process until combined and nuts are well ground. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture for the topping and press the remaining mixture evenly across the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan.
Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water and stir until melted. Set aside.
To make the meringue, combine the egg whites, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whip with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a clean bowl using clean beaters, whip the cream with the vanilla until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.
Place the chocolate in a large bowl and add 1/3 of the meringue, stirring until well combined. Fold in the remaining meringue in 2 additions, being careful not to overmix. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to deflate the mixture, and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of the nut mixture over the top, wrap the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, run a knife around the outside of the cake inside the pan, then release the spring and remove the sleeve. Slice the cake using a thin, sharp knife dipped in warm water, cleaning the knife after each cut. Serve with whipped cream or whipped topping. Keep refrigerated.
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