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Chocolate Orange Torte

1 2 1/4-ounce package slivered almonds (1/2 cup)
4 oranges
1 20-ounce package double-chocolate muffin mix
1 cup sugar

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.

Makes 8 servings

AUTHOR: Gale

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