Harrison Chocolate Torte

IMG_0914Try not to get whiplash as we careen from healthy middle eastern dishes with gorgeous veggies toward chocolate cake so delicious, it may in fact be illegal.  I cannot help my love for chocolate, it’s hereditary.  I am convinced that eventually geneticists will identify the gene on which the code for “chocolate addict” is written.  Until then, I am unscientifically stating that the love for chocolate runs in families.  Have you ever met someone who didn’t like chocolate?  I know a few people and I simultaneously pity and envy them.  I’m not much of a candy person, but I have a strange, primal attachment to chocolate.  I blame/thank my mother, her mother and all the women on that side of the family.

So, this cake honors my ancestors as well as my chocolate-loving friends, you know who you are.  I’ve been accused of putting illegal substances in it to make it more addicting, but I can give only this equation as explanation:


Harrison Chocolate Torte

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use half bittersweet, half semisweet)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a 10-inch spring-form pan and dust with sugar. Stir chocolate and butter in saucepan (ideally heavy bottomed) over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool several minutes at room temperature. Add sugar, whisk until combined and then whisk in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, salt and flour and whisk until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-35 minutes until barely puffed in center.  Tester will NOT come out clean. Cool completely and refrigerate while making ganache (optional) and mousse.

Optional Ganache

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
4 Tbsp. butter softened
1 Tbsp vanilla

Combine cream, chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly until combined.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour over chilled cake and invert raspberries over ganache.  Chill until set.

If not using ganache, proceed to mousse layer.


2 Tbsp cocoa powder
5 Tbsp hot water
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate , chopped fine
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine cocoa powder and hot water in small bowl, stir until combined.  Melt chocolate in the microwave on medium or in a sacupan on low, stirring often, just until smooth. Remove from heat and cool several minutes.  Stir cocoa mixture into melted chocolate until fully combined.

Whip cream, granulated sugar, and salt in a stand mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form.

Using rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream until no streaks remain.  Work quickly. Spoon mousse over cooled cake.  

If using ganache, top with whipped cream.

If NOT using ganache, top with a layer of raspberry jam and then whipped cream, or just top with whipped cream (I add a little powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste) and fresh raspberries.

When serving, run knife under hot water between each cut for cleaner slices.


This is what the optional ganache layer looks like.  If you’re adding it, put it right on top of the original cake layer:


Then the mousse:


If you’re NOT using ganance, add the raspberry jam now, or just skip to the whipped cream.


Top with whipped cream (cool whipped cream gadget here) and serve with fresh raspberries:

IMG_0873IMG_0890  IMG_0918


Categories: Cakes, Desserts

Tagged as: , ,

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s