Herbal Desserts For Valentine's Day: Chocolate-Rosemary Torte

| February/March 2007

Rosemary is the herb of remembrance, and rest assured, this is one unforgettable cake. Both its mousse filling and icing are infused with the pungent herb—if you prefer a less assertive rosemary flavor, simply reduce the quantity of herb in each recipe or omit it altogether from the icing. MAKES ONE 8-INCH THREE-LAYER CAKE, ABOUT 16-20 SERVINGS

Chocolate-rosemary mousse

• 1/4 cup loosely packed rosemary leaves, stems removed
• 2 cups heavy cream, divided
• 6 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate fudge cake

• 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Rosemary buttercream

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