Line 2 greased jelly-roll pans, 15x10x1-inch each, with wax paper and butter and flour the paper, shaking off excess. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks. Add slowly 1-1/2 cups sugar, beating, and beat the mixture until it is thick and pale and forms a ribbon. Add the chocolate and combine the batter well.
In another large bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar slowly, and beat until whites hold stiff peaks. Stir a fourth of the whites into the yolk mixture, fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly, and pour the batter into the pans, spreading it evenly. Bake the cake layers in the middle of a preheated 375f oven for 18-20 minutes or until pick test. Let cake layers cool in the pans, covered with kitchen towels on large racks. Invert the cake layers onto the racks and remove the wax paper carefully.
Buttercream: In a small heavy saucepan, dissolve sugar in 1/3 cup water over moderate heat, stirring. Bring mixture to a boil, and boil it until it registers240f on a candy thermometer.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs until they are frothy. Add sugar syrup in a thin stream, beating, and beat the mixture until it is cool. Beat in the butter, one Tbsp at a time. Beat in expresso powder and a pinch of salt. Beat the buttercream until it is combined well. If necessary, chill the buttercream, covered, until it is firm enough to spread.
Ganache: In a large heavy saucepan, bring cream just to a boil and remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until it is smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until it is cool and thickened. Do not let it solidify. Beat the mixture until it just forms soft peaks, but do not overbeat.
Assembly: Force preserves through a fine sieve into a bowl. Transfer the cake layers to a work surface. Trim edges and halve each layer lengthwise. On a serving plate, arrange one layer, spread with a third of the preserves, and spread a third of the ganache over the preserves. Top with another layer and proceed with the preserves, ganache and cake in the same manner, ending with a cake layer on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream an chill for 30 minutes. Spread on additional buttercream, leaving about 1/3 cup to make rosettes. With a pastry comb or tines of a fork, score the buttercream lengthwise. Draw the back of a knife crosswise across the scored buttercream at intervals. Transfer the remaining buttercream to a small pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe rosettes on top of the torte along the long sides and intersperse the rosettes with chocolate coffee beans. Chill.
Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
a 1989 Gourmet Mag. favorite