Double Chocolate Birthday Torte — cake , chocolate , dessert , pies / tarts — For Two, Please

October 19, 2009

Double Chocolate Birthday Torte

It was someone special's birthday this past week. And like me, this person LOVES chocolate. So what better way to celebrate than with a sinfully rich, double chocolate torte?

Flourless chocolate cakes are usually my standard go-to for really intense and dense chocolate cakes. But for this special occasion, I was looking for something a bit more impressive and luxurious. I really didn't think that was possible until I laid eyes on this.

Good thing we live in SF, home to Girardelli and Scharffen Berger, because this recipe called for a lot of chocolate. There are essentially 3 different layers in it -- the bottom an intensely rich and dense chocolate torte, the middle a smooth and creamy chocolate mousse, and the top a light and airy whipped cream -- that together, create a decadent explosion of flavor. The velvety chocolate texture just melts in your mouth...and when your eyes are closed, it tastes even better (imagine that!). There were definitely a lot of oohhhhhs, ahhhhhs, and mmmmms that night ;)

Despite the fact that "small serving sizes are highly recommended" because of the cake's rich flavor, every single plate on the table was licked clean. Funny how that always seems to happen at our place...

Happy birthday, Mom! We're so lucky to have you -- love you lots :)

Double Chocolate Torte
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2000

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons red currant jelly melted with 1 tablespoon water

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; dust with sugar. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt, then flour. Pour batter into pan. Bake until cake just rises in center (tester inserted into center will not come out clean), about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cover; chill while making mousse.

For mousse:
Melt butter in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk yolks, 1/4 cup cream and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into bowl with melted butter. Whisk constantly over simmering water until thermometer registers 150°F, about 6 minutes (mixture may appear broken). Remove from over water; add chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside. Beat egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk 1/4 of beaten egg white mixture into warm chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour mousse over cake in pan; smooth top. Chill torte until mousse is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Run sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen torte. Release pan sides. Transfer torte to platter. Using electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream over torte. Top whipped cream with raspberries. Brush red currant jelly mixture over raspberries. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.


  1. Wow! That's a chocolate lover's dream cake! How wonderful to have you as a friend. :-)

  2. This cake was beautifully presented, unbelievably rich and so chocolatey-- a bonafide chocoholic's delight. We savored every last morsel. You have really touched my heart.

    Love always,
    the mother of a terrific cook and baker

  3. Yumm... Looks so moist and soft!!


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