Every year I host a gingerbread house building party for my family. There’s a lot of spiced cookie slabs and inedible sugar glue involved. Not to mention an obscene amount of candy. If I’m hoping for an early kid bedtime, this is not the night to pull it. There’s also a lot of food involved in this evening. My family is full of unusually hungry men boasting abnormally expansive stomach capacity.
Good thing I know how to cook a lot of food. This year my oldest piped up and asked if she could make the dessert. I stuck my control in a little box, buried it deep in the frozen ground, threw away the key, and said “absolutely you may”.
I seem to need all the help I can get, lately.
So she set herself to the task, immediately, pouring for hours over cookbooks and magazines.
There came a moment of frustration when she realized everything she was looking at was “weird”…aka containing no regular flour or sugar. She wanted to know where the normal dessert books were. Thankfully I had a copy of Food 52’s Genius Desserts up on a higher shelf.
Somewhere in it’s immaculately curated pages she stumbled upon something called a “chocolate oblivion truffle torte” and decided that it checked all the right boxes.
Then, by herself, she baked.
She melted and whisked, whipped and folded, scraped and smoothed.
What she turned out may have been the best chocolate torte I’ve had in my 30 some-odd years on this planet.
I made it myself two more times within the next week. Took it to a party. Not even a crumb made it back home with me.
This cake is made up of chocolate, butter, and eggs. In other words, it’s rich. A little goes a long way. It’s dense, almost like a truffle, and becomes nothing short of amazing when topped with light and fluffy whipped cream to contrast the intensity of the chocolate.
The ingredients for this cake are few, but it is a bit technical.
A few notes:
When folding the eggs into the melted chocolate/butter mixture, make sure the chocolate mixture is at room temperature. If it’s still hot, it’s going to cause the beaten to eggs to break when it’s all folded together. You can still bake it if it breaks, the texture simply won’t be as smooth.
Take care to make sure that the tin foil wrapped around the bottom and sides of the springform is leak-proof. You don’t want water seeping in to the pan while the cake bakes.
Use a high caliber chocolate and butter. This is not the place to skimp on quality. Go for chocolate 60% or higher, and a nice grass-fed butter.
This cake can be made without a springform pan – a deep 8″ cake pan would also work. Just be sure to grease will and line the bottom with parchment. To remove, you’ll need to run a sharp, hot knife around the sides of the cake, then dip with bottom of the pan in hot water to loosen before you invert the cake onto a serving dish.
Give this cake a good amount of time to chill in the fridge.
It’s best served cold in small slices.
Chocolate Truffle Torte
*This cake is incredibly rich and can serve a large amount of people as only a small slice is needed per serving. **This cake has been lightly adapted from the Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum in Food 52's book 'Genius Desserts'.
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: one 8" cake
- 1 pound(16 oz.) 60-70% high quality Chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup(2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut in to cubes, at room temperature
- 6 Large Eggs, at room temperaature
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup Sugar
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Butter the inside of an 8" Springform pan. Line bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
- Wrap the outside of the pan in two layers of tin foil to insure that no water seeps inside when the cake is baked in a water bath.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl. Microwave at intervals of 30 seconds, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted. This can also be done in a double boiler. Stir chocolate and butter together until combined.
- Fill a pan with about an inch of water and place over medium high heat. When the water is simmering, place a heat proof mixing bowl on top of the pan and add the eggs to it. Whisk constantly until the eggs are vey warm to the touch. Remove bowl from the pan and beat the eggs with an electric mixer until they have tripled in volume, and are light in color and fluffy.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture, taking care not to deflate the eggs as you fold. Once the eggs and chocolate have been fully combined, pour the mixture into the prepared springform, gently leveling the top of the batter.
- Fill a roasting pan or large, deep cake pan with 1 inch of boiling water. Place the springform pan inside of the water-filled pan and very carefully transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes(yes, you read that right), or until top of the cake is just set. It will still be a bit jiggly.
- Carefully remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 45 minutes.
- Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Let chill until very cold, overnight, or 5-6 hours.
- To remove the cake, run a sharp knife along with inside of the pan, then remove the side of the springform pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment paper from what is now the top of the cake. If you find the bottom hard to remove, you can use a hairdryer to heat the metal for a few seconds to loosen, then remove.
- Place the cream and sugar in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer to stiff peaks.
- Place cream in a piping bag and pipe on top of the cake.
- Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder.
- To serve: Dip a sharp knife in hot water, wipe, and slice. Repeat with each cut you make for a perfectly clean slice.