In this intensely indulgent dessert, bittersweet chocolate pairs with fragrant passion fruit cream to excite all the senses. Garnish with candied fresh basil leaves for an extravagant embellishment. Photo credit: Nicole Shoemaker from Cooking for Keeps.
For the Bittersweet Chocolate Tortes, preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 4 (6-ounce) ramekins with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Place ramekins in 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside. Microwave chocolate, remaining 1/2 cup butter and passion fruit liqueur in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
Beat eggs, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, basil and salt in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until thickened. Gradually beat in chocolate mixture until well blended. Pour evenly into ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Carefully remove ramekins from water bath to wire rack. Cool to room temperature.
For the Passion Fruit Cream, beat mascarpone cheese, passion fruit concentrate, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 1 minute or until thickened. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, carefully run small knife around each torte to loosen from ramekin. Invert onto dessert plate. Gently remove ramekin. Top with a dollop of Passion Fruit Cream. Garnish with Candied Basil Leaves, if desired.
Candied Basil Leaves: Spread 1/4 cup sugar on plate. Set aside. Bring 1/2 cup each sugar and water to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add 8 fresh basil leaves; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Using tongs, remove basil leaves to plate. Gently open leaves and coat on both sides with sugar. Place basil leaves on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated 200°F oven 5 minutes or until crisp.
Test Kitchen Tips:
• Passion fruit concentrate is a liquid (not frozen) concentrate that can be found in Latin markets or the Latin aisle of some supermarkets. It should not be confused with passion fruit juice or nectar.
• Tortes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store in refrigerator. To reheat, place ramekins in microwave. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) for 2 to 3 minutes. Unmold as directed.