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IN THE TOWN OF CHOCOLATE, TRY A REAL SLICE OF HEAVEN

SHARE IN THE TOWN OF CHOCOLATE, TRY A REAL SLICE OF HEAVEN

Question: I've never experienced anything like the town of Hershey, Pa. I thought I had died and gone to chocolate heaven! Please see if you can get the recipe for the Chocolate Almond Torte served at the Hotel Hershey.

- Julie Whitaker, Fresno, Calif.Answer: "The sweetest place on Earth" richly describes the town of Hershey, Pa., where all ages are enchanted by the chocolate-scented air. Chocolatetown Square, a lovely one-acre park in the heart of downtown Hershey, promotes the city's chocolate theme with street lights resembling chocolate kisses, sweet theme street signs, and hedges clipped to spell out "Hershey Cocoa!"

Not to be missed is Hersheypark. Visitors with nerves of steel ride the sooperDooperLooper roller coaster, while others tour the 11-acre ZooAmerica or cheer the Hershey Bears hockey team to victory!

Gooey, chewy caramels established Milton Hershey's reputation as a candy-maker before he decided to concentrate exclusively on chocolate. The philanthropist built a wholesome community around his factory, erected the Hotel Hershey during the Depression and devoted much of his personal fortune to the welfare of needy children.

Hershey Foods developed the original Supreme Chocolate Almond Torte recipe now served at the Hotel Hershey. The deep, mellow chocolate notes of Hershey's European Style Cocoa, which some say is reminiscent of an Oreo cookie, is the result of "dutching." Prepared in Holland, the "dutched" chocolate is processed with alkali to enhance the natural flavor of the cocoa.

SUPREME CHOCOLATE ALMOND TORTE

Torte:

3/4 cup toasted almonds, finely ground

3 eggs

11/4 cups sugar

2 sticks butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Hershey's European Style Cocoa

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sliced almonds for topping

Supreme Cocoa Glaze:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Hershey's European Style Cocoa

2 tablespoons water

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds over a cookie sheet and bake 5 to 7 minutes or until light golden brown. Set aside. Line 9-inch round springform pan with foil; spray lightly with non-stick spray. In large mixer bowl, beat eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt until well blended; beat on high speed of electric mixer 3 minutes until smooth and thick, scraping bowl often. Add cocoa and flour; blend well. Stir in almonds. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan. Carefully peel off foil. Cool completely on wire rack. Place on serving plate. Makes 1 9-inch round cake, serving 10 to 12 people.

To prepare glaze: In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add cocoa and water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Do not boil. Remove from heat; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating with spoon until smooth. Add additional water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Spread glaze over top and sides of torte; garnish with sliced almonds. Makes about 3/4 cup glaze.

HIGH ALTITUDE DIRECTIONS FOR TORTE: Add 2 tablespoons water with eggs, decrease sugar to 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon, decrease butter to 14 tablespoons, increase flour to 1/2 cup and bake at 375 degrees 33 to 37 minutes.