A Birthday Cake! Or was it? – Dark & White Chocolate Torte

19 Jul

So it was my husband’s birthday.  It was extra special because it was also the day that Mimi completed 22 months. A cake was definitely in order. So I flipped and flipped through my baking books, gmail document folders, bloggers’ recipe indexes for that special cake. Everything looked like it was done to death. So I started scouting for other options such as tarts and pies and even puddings. But none of them would look good with candles on them in my head. So finally I spotted a new sort of word in one of my baking books about chocolate – Torte.

I chose the one that looked very rustic and sophisticated in its own sweet way. Imagine a soft, gooey chocolate cream as a layer between two tortes and covered with white chocolate icing all over. I thought it should be good, new and a challenge to try something I haven’t tried before. But my sound advice would that always attempt done-to-death kind of stuff on important occasions. The ones that are tried and test and the ones that you are confident that you and pull off decently well. But my adventurous side was too kicked in to not want to try a Dark and White Chocolate Torte.

I was completely taken aback when I saw no mention of butter in the torte recipe. Instead it asked for colossal number of eggs- 4 nos., very little flour. I was in high spirits and even sifted the flour twice( because there was only little to sift:-))

When it came out from the oven it looked like a thick slab that was springy to touch and dense at sight. Not the most pleasing to tell you the truth. The recipe asked for cutting the torte into two from the middle. I realized it way too thin to be cut into two. So I baked another one – so another 4 eggs gone. Now this better be fantastic, I hoped.  With two thick slabs of torte – neither of which looked anything like a cake- I was determined to do wonders with the icing to cover the goof up. I melted chocolate in boiling cream and whisked to make it thick. I realized I had picked a local brand of cream instead of  a good one. The cream refused to stay and kept running in different directions. Clearly, it wasn’t a birthday cake -making day. With a forced smile, I got the white chocolate icing done and got the cake assembled just in time. Peeled some chocolate curls off a chocolate bar to salvage whatever little I could in terms of appearance atleast.

Now it was time to cut the cake and I brought out my biggest, strongest bread knife to do the honours. It took some time and effort by two people to get a slice out so you do get an idea that it was  a tough cake to beat. People were kind enough to sample the cake with plastered smiles since they didn’t want to disappoint me. Well, I knew the truth. The flavours were really good but the texture was the problem. The entire time, I kept pondering over, where I went wrong? Was the recipe not that great or did I do something wrong?

Anyways the recipe is here,

Recipe for Dark & White Chocolate Torte

Serves six


For the Torte

4 eggs ( I had to make to tortes so had to use 8 eggs)

100 g castor sugar

100 g of plain flour

For the Chocolate Cream

300 ml double cream

150 g plain chocolate , broken into small pieces

For the White Chocolate Icing

75g white chocolate

15 g butter

1 tbsp milk

4 tbsp icing sugar

Chocolate curls for decoration


1. Grease a 20 cm /8 inch round spring form cake tin and line the base with baking  paper( I had to do this twice to get two tortes).

2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for about 10 mins or more until the mixture is very light and foamy. The whisk should leave a trail that lasts a few seconds when lifted

3. Sift the flour and fold in with a metal spoon or spatula. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven 180 C/350 F/ Gas Mark 4, for 35 – 40 minutes or until springy to touch. Leave to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the chocolate cream, place the cream in a saucepan and bring it to boil, stirring. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat,  transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Beat with wooden spoon until thick.

5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter together and stir until blended. Whisk in the milk and icing sugar. Continue whisking for a few minutes until the icing is cool. Pour it over the cake and spread with a spatula to coat the top and sides. Decorate with Chocolate curls  ( used a vegetable peeler to carve the curls out of a chocolate bar) . Leave to set.

Notes: * The gentle act of folding the flour into the egg- sugar mixture was the one that failed me, in my opinion.

* Buying good quality ingredients is imperative. The double cream let me down and so I am not going to act stingy when it comes to buying quality products.

* Always stick to something that you are comfortable baking on special occasions, else you would be writing notes like this!

28 Responses to “A Birthday Cake! Or was it? – Dark & White Chocolate Torte”

  1. Meghna July 19, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    :) he he nice post Anita…. But happy birthday to amit :)

    • Anita Menon July 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      thank you :-) Meghna

      • Meghna July 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

        BTW, I really liked the pictures and the cutlery!!!! :-)

  2. Rosa May July 19, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    A lovely torte! Surely divine.

    Happy belated Birthday to your husband.



  3. Three-Cookies July 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    The torte recipe does look unique – only 3 ingredients. I suppose practice makes perfect. At least it was delicious to eat and thats important!

    • Anita Menon July 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more- practice makes perfect. That motivates me to give it another go to see if I can undo what I did wrong this time around.

  4. Bikram July 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    OK I love this post .. it has the recipe in it he he hehe :)

    many many happy returns of the day to your husband …

    loved the pics too makes me droool

  5. yummychunklet July 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Happy birthday to your husband! This torte looks fantastic!

  6. Ankur July 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Happy birthday Amit…. And Anu I really liked the pic… though got ur point abt sticking to what we know best in special occasions… :)

  7. Buls July 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Thats ok… its only when we fail sometimes we learn not to make mistakes…

  8. Torviewtoronto July 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    beautiful lokking torte looks wonderful

  9. Vijitha Shyam July 20, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    Hello Anita
    This is my first time here. I must say that you have a beautiful blog and I enjoyed browsing through your posts.

  10. Anamika July 20, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    The whole concept of special occasion SCREAMS for something new, something unusual & something special. And the behind the scenes that you have explained here, tells the thoughtfulness & effort behind it. And that’s what matters. Nice pics :)

    • Anita Menon July 20, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks Anamika. All the little tips from you have worked like a charm

  11. jahn 'n style July 20, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    this looks AMAZING!!!! I wish i had better baking skills :):) thanks for sharing the recipe…i should give it a try

    P.S- cool photography :)

  12. Sarah July 20, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    i was just reading about tortes the other day… i think they are supposed to be thick and dense unlike a cake… at least that is the impression i got when i saw the video of making a chocolate torte on joy of baking… so dont worry… happy bday to ur husband.. and happy 22 months to ur lil one :)

  13. Carolyn July 21, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    Oh no! Isn’t it awful when that happens? But it happens to all of us, no matter how good we are at baking. We take a chance on a recipe and it just doesn’t come through. Ah well, I know you will do well next time!

  14. Christina July 21, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    Happy birthday to your husband! This looks like the perfect way to celebrate! :D

  15. Androgoth July 28, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    A very nice posting but the only trouble is that I am
    absolutely famished now, and in need of a large slice
    of this most exquisitely looking cake…

    I love Cake you know? lol


  16. La @ FoodSlice August 25, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    I love your crockery :) And the cake doesn’t LOOK bad at all, especially liked it in the last picture. I am yet to bake a special occasion cake and i let my birthday slip by silently two months ago :(

    • Anita Menon August 27, 2011 at 12:02 am #

      thank you La! Let me know when your birthday is and I’ll make you a special cake.

  17. foodfrenzydigest March 1, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Congratulations! We wanted to inform you that this post has been selected as a Featured Archive Post on our site for the month of March 2014!


  1. Birthdays so far & a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting « - August 4, 2012

    [...] messed up his cake again – I had a year of baking experience behind me when I embarked on making a black and white torte for his birthday. I was confident about getting it right. It didn’t seem that complicated [...]

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