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Double Chocolate Torte

November 25, 2009

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I should probably be posting a Thanksgiving recipe.  But, I’m not going to lie, I don’t have any Thanksgiving recipes to post about.  The cooking starts tonight, and I didn’t have time for any run-throughs of my recipes.  Besides, this cake is too good to not post about immediately

My 28th birthday was earlier this week, and yesterday I had this conversation with my 16-year old sister, Bridget:

Me:  I can’t believe that in two years you’ll be 18!

B: I can’t believe that in two years you’ll be 30!

Me: Yeah, whatever.  You turning 18 is way more scary.

B:  Ha!  You’ll be 30!  You’re getting OLD!

Okay, perhaps I am.  Luckily, the end of November is a great time to have a birthday because it coincides with so many other things, like Thanksgiving and opening weekend of deer hunting season (in Wisconsin, at least).  It’s nice because you’re together with your family and the food is almost guaranteed to be good.  A birthday turns to more of a birthweek.    

I decided to make my own cake this year because there are so many cakes I want to make and not enough special occasions to warrant actually making them all.  I was torn between making this cake, which is essentially an almost-flourless chocolate cake with chocolate mousse on top, and a chocolate Guinness cake.  It was a hard decision, but I am really glad this cake was the one I picked. 

What exactly constitutes a “torte”?  I’m really not sure.  I made a “plum torte” over the summer, but that was essentially a cake with fruit baked into the top.  This was a cake with mousse, whipped cream and raspberries on top.  Perhaps it’s the idea of a cake with something “on top.”  Who can say?

Moving away from minutiae and onto the chocolate.  I used 72% dark chocolate in the cake, and semisweet (52%) chocolate in the mousse.  I figured since there was sugar in the cake I could use the more powerful stuff there, and eliminate the sugar in the mousse and use the semisweet chocolate there.  I hate cakes that are too sweet.  This one is all about the chocolate, not the sugar. 

I can’t wait until it’s raspberry season again.  I felt moderately guilty buying 2 containers of over-priced raspberries since I typically try to buy seasonal fruit.  But my love of raspberries sometimes pushes my principles out the door.

In an effort to make this cake somewhat relevant to the holiday season, I’m going to suggest that this cake would be great to make around Christmas/Kwanza/Hanukkah, what with the red raspberries and all.   There’s also the whiteness of the whipped cream…. okay now I’m just making stuff up.  I’ll stop now.

This cake was so good.  Soooo good.  The unsweetened whipped cream provided a welcomed contrast to the chocolateyness of the bottom layers, and the raspberries topped it off perfectly.  I ate it for lunch two days in a row.  Don’t judge- it’s my birthweek and I can eat what I want to!

Double Chocolate Torte

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)


  • 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 semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

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 35 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.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cindy permalink
    November 25, 2009 2:33 pm

    You make beautiful cakes old lady! Hope it was scrumptious 🙂

  2. Jen permalink
    November 26, 2009 12:40 am

    Looks yummy – great job 🙂 Happy Birthday Katie!


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