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1. In a medium saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat; transfer to a bowl and cool completely. In a large mixing bowl let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
2. Stir egg yolks and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture (mixture will become stiffer). Set chocolate mixture aside. In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).
4. Fold about one-third of the egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg white mixture. Sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture; gently fold in. Repeat twice, sifting and folding in one-third of the flour mixture at a time.
5. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely in the pan on a wire rack. Meanwhile, stir jam or preserves to thin; set aside. Prepare Chocolate Ganache.
6. Loosen cake from sides of pan and remove sides. Carefully remove bottom of pan from cake by loosening the cake with a knife.
7. To assemble, cut cake horizontally into two even layers. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a wire rack set over a piece of waxed paper. Spread the jam or preserves on top of the cake layer on rack. Top with the second cake layer, cut side down. Pour Chocolate Ganache over torte, spreading as necessary to glaze top and sides completely. If any glaze has dripped onto the waxed paper, spoon that glaze over the torte. Chill cake on rack until glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer cake to a serving platter. Makes 14 to 16 servings.
1. Coarsely chop the chocolate; set aside. In a medium saucepan bring the whipping cream to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.