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Grand Marnier Chocolate Pecan Torte
Yield: 8 servings

8 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
2 tb Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1/2 ts vanilla
1 1/3 c very finely chopped pecans
1/4 c dry bread crumbs
7 egg Whites

4 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
2 ts Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1/3 c very finely chopped pecans

3/4 c heavy whipping cream
2 tb powdered sugar
2 ts Grand Marnier
1 fresh orange, thin skin variety

Melt broken chocolate in double boiler, stirring constantly, or
microwave on medium for about 3 minutes. Set aside. In the small
mixer bowl, cream butter, gradually adding 1/2 cup of the sugar;
mix until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, liqueur and vanilla; beat
until creamy. Transfer to larger bowl. Fold melted chocolate into
creamed mixture. Use a food processor or blender to chop pecans to
a coarse powder. Combine nuts with crumbs and fold into chocolate
mixture. Beat egg whites with salt, gradually adding remaining 1/4
cup sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into
chocolate mixture; fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into
a buttered 9" springform pan lined with waxed paper. Bake at 350-F
on bottom rack for 45-50 minutes or until center is firm. Cool on
rack. Cake will sink slightly in the center. Remove pan and liner.
Top with Chocolate Ganache Glaze and Grand Marnier Whipped Cream
Decoration.

Finely chop chocolate. Heat cream until hot. On very low heat add
chocolate, stirring until smooth and thick. Remove from heat. Stir
in liqueur. Turn torte, top side down, onto serving plate. Arrange
strips of waxed paper under cake edge to catch excess glaze. Pour
glaze over top and sides of cake. After a short time, run excess
glaze up sides of cake. Cover sides of cake with nuts. Remove waxed
paper strips. Chill cake while preparing topping.

Whipped Cream Decoration: Whip cream with sugar and liqueur until
it holds a shape. Do not overbeat. Pipe rosettes or form a ring of
whipped cream around top of chocolate glazed torte. With a sharp
knife cut peel from orange. Slice into circles; cut into quarters.
Place oranges around cake on top of whipped cream. If preferred,
sprinkle grated orange rind over whipped cream. Cake should be
stored in a cool place until served.

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