Chocolate Torte

Friday, February 6, 2009

I did it!!! I have successfully cloned our favorite chocolate torte from Andre's Confiserie Suisse‎ in Kansas City! Last week I made The Perfect Party Cake which was my first experience making Swiss Meringue (a velvet buttercream frosting). I knew the texture matched Andre’s so I just had to figure out the chocolate flavors, and to my total astonishment… I did it! We had an Andre’s chocolate torte for our wedding cake so for me to crack this recipe is a huge personal accomplishment.

This recipe makes a massive amount the cake! You want a good 1/2 inch of buttercream in the layers so the cake ended up being 4-5 inches tall. Due to the height and richness you can only eat a sliver so this cake would feed at least 12 people. One of the best aspects of this cake however is that it gets even better with age, which is a rare trait in cakes! You must keep this cake in the fridge and after preparing it should be refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving, but its best 2nd day. The frosting really comes into its own while in the fridge. It sets up like ice cream and melts in your mouth, a truly amazing cake!

Ingredients for cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites

For Buttercream
2 cup sugar
8 large egg whites
6 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions for preparing the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and place a rack in the center. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Wisk together buttermilk and eggs and set aside. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and the cocoa powder until well-combined. Beat in the butter and extract. While mixing gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture and mix for a good 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center emerges clean. Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them onto the rack, and peel off the parchment. Cool completely.

Preparing the buttercream: Place the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer or another large heatproof bowl. Fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until it has cooled, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter and cocoa powder, one stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all of the butter has been added, beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 10-15 minutes. During this time, the buttercream may curdle or separate--just keep beating and it will come together again.On medium speed, gradually beat in the vanilla extract. The buttercream will be smooth and velvety. You will know it’s done when it stiffens up. You will notice the mixer beaters going through the icing and the icing will stay in the stiff peaks and not fall. Just keep mixing it, it will eventually stiffen up!


Assemble the cake: Using a sharp serrated knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Put one layer, cut side up, on a cardboard cake round or cake plate. Spread it with a 1/2 an inch of buttercream. Top with another layer, spread with the buttercream, and do the same with a third layer. Place the last layer, cut side down, on top of the cake. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and the top. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in freezer for up to 2 months.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

6 sticks of butter is 1.5 pounds. Although butter is something I love, that might be too much even for me.

Is it supposed to be 3 sticks?

It looks great. Thx

Carrie said...

Anonymous, you are correct it's 1.5 pounds of butter!

However, this is a double recipe of Dorie Greenspan's original frosting recipe... because when I made this torte the first time there was only enough frosting for 1/2 the cake. If you want to 1/2 all the frosting ingredients you can, we just prefer lots of frosting ,-)

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Anonymous said...

I think Andre's uses predominantly sponge cake bases, not like your butter cake clone.