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Chocolate Chestnut Bourbon Torte with Kentucky Bourbon Cream

Ingredients:

6 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups sugar plus 1/3 cup
4 tablespoons Bourbon plus 2 teaspoons
2-1/2 cups pureed unsweetened chestnuts
3/4 cup ground pecans plus pecan pieces for garnish
2 teaspoons instant coffee
6 tablespoons chilled butter cut into pieces
1-1/2 ounces bitter chocolate, chopped
3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate
3-1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

Make the cake:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two nine-inch cake pans. Beat 6 egg yolks well. Stir in 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons bourbon, and then blend in 2 cups chestnut puree. Stir in ground pecans. Whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold whites into batter. Divide mixture between the two cake pans and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a cake rack, then remove from the pans.

Make the filling:
Beat the 2 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar. Add instant coffee and 1 tablespoon hot water. Beat chilled butter into mixture, then add 1/2 teaspoon bourbon and stir in remaining 1/2 cup chestnut puree. Stir in chopped bitter chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Melt bittersweet chocolate with heavy cream over low heat. Stir in 2 tablespoon bourbon, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To assemble cake:
Spread the chilled chestnut filling atop one cake layer and cover with the other. Cover the torte with the chocolate icing and sprinkle with chopped pecan pieces. Chill before serving. Meanwhile, prepare a bourbon chantilly to pass at the table: Whip the 2 cups of cream to soft peaks, gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar and then fold in 2 tablespoons of bourbon.

Credits: Chicago Tribune Magazine, recipe by caterer and restaurant owners Cathy and Will Cary