Impressive as it looks, this easy four-ingredient chocolate dessert takes some wonderfully simple shortcuts. Start with a package of double chocolate muffin mix; add fresh oranges (zest and juice) and chopped almonds. Next, drizzle your masterpiece with a cooked syrup of OJ and sugar.
Real Simple SEPTEMBER 2001
Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.
Finely chop the almonds. Grate 1 teaspoon orange zest from one of the oranges and cut strips of zest from another to use for garnish. Squeeze 1 1/2 cups juice from the oranges.
Prepare the muffin mix according to the label directions but substitute 3/4 cup of the orange juice for water and blend in the chopped almonds and grated zest. Pour into pan. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool torte in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the remaining 3/4 cup orange juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. To serve, spoon the sauce over the torte and garnish with the orange-zest strips.
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