Father’s Day Cooking

Chocolate Torte I made for my Dad on Father’s Day.

The details after the cutI got the recipe from SoupBelly, who does a much better job cooking, documenting and presenting the cake than I did.

4 oz. Cadbury dark chocolate
3 Tbsp. water
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. strawberry preserves
1 pint of fresh raspberries

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and dust a 9 inch cake tin.

2) Pour chocolate and water into microwave safe cup or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir to see if chocolate is totally melted. If not, put in microwave for another 30 seconds.

3) Separate egg whites and egg yolks into separate medium sized bowls. With an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, gradually adding half the sugar.

4) With an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks in the other bowl with remaining sugar for one minute. Gradually add the vegetable oil until combined. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Transfer to bowl of egg whites.

5) Sift flour and baking powder into bowl, add vanilla extract. Fold everything carefully together using a spoon or rubber spatula. Transfer into cake tin and bake for approx. 45-60 minutes. Insert wooden toothpick into center to see if it comes out clean.

6) Let cake cool at room temp for at least 20 minutes, then set in refrigerator for at least an hour so it is completely cooled. Take out of refrigerator, carefully remove cake from tin by sliding a knife around edges. You might have to slide the knife underneath the cake very carefully to loosen it from the bottom of the tin. Place a large plate on top of the tin, then carefully flip both upside down.

7) Using a bread knife (or long thin wire) carefully slice the cake through the middle to make two layers. Pour strawberry preserves onto bottom layer, spread evenly on surface and sandwich layers together.

8) To make ganache, heat heavy cream in a pot until it boils, then immediately take off burner and pour into bowl of chocolate chips. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then whisk together until smooth. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let cool at room temperature. Pour ganache over cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Set cake in refrigerator until ready to serve.

I think the biggest appeal of this Torte is how it looks. Even with the raspberries falling off the sides and the chocolate pooling (the recipe makes way more than you need, which is really only a bad thing if you hate chocolate) on the plate this thing looks delicious. Sadly, whether it was my cooking or the recipe itself the cake didn’t quite live up to the presentation. I think the main problem was in the cake itself: it was too dry to be satisfying as a dessert, with a texture very close to bread. This meant that the taste of the dark chocolate was lost in the texture of the cake. I cooked the dish for the minimum amount of time, so I don’t think it was burnt, but so it goes. The strawberry preserve filling was a unique and clever addition though, and I thought the flavor played really well against the ganache, which also turned out quite well.  I suppose it worked out to be a net victory for delicious, but if I do decide to make another torte I will definitely look for something with a moister cake.


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