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Chocolate and Strawberry Layer Torte Recipe
Where to place such a recipe! As a chocolate dessert? As a strawberry dessert? The mind wavers in indecision! But the stomach will not; this delicious concoction combines together chocolate buttercream with delightfully springy torte layers, and then covers the entire thing in strawberry cream and decks it with sliced strawberries, producing a pretty but much more importantly wonderfully appetizing torte. Strawberries and chocolate quite naturally go together after all! Somewhat difficult to make due to the number of steps associated, in my opinion the end result is well worth it.
As a note, the recipe displayed here has been altered from the pictures, since I found myself with a surfeit of cream in making it. Thus I made a variety of reductions which are designed to enable the cake to be less messy in producing it; the large amount of excess cream often was, ahem, consumed in production. While this was something which I myself greatly profited from, the mess that it produced might not be welcomed by everyone! Thus the combination of changes in some various ingredients, and some additional precautions in production - principally concerning refrigeration - should help to make your torte yet more elegant than the one I have.
I took inspiration for this recipe from The Viennese Pastry Cookbook by Lilly Joss Reich, but I would hesitate to say that I adapted it from the book as my recipe bears very little resemblance to any found within; only really the process of making the torte dough was taken from one recipe. However, it is a very good book with a splendid variety of different desserts and one I heartily recommend.
- 4 eggs
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 3 oz chocolate
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced in two
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons strawberry syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup flour
- Combine together 4 eggs, and 2 egg yolks, with 1/2 cup of sugar, in a saucepan. Heat until it is just somewhat hotter than lukewarm while beating constantly, then remove from heat, and continue beating until the mixture begins to thicken, is cool, and is foamy, as well as having increased in size.
- Add in 1 cup of flour, in appropriately sized batches, and then 1/2 bar of melted and then slightly cooled butter.
- There are two approaches for baking. I would recommend the latter. The former is to pour all of the batter into a spring form pan coated with non-stick spray, at least 9 inches across, to bake for 30 minutes, and then remove it when it becomes golden brown, and after it cools to slice it in two. I find this difficult. Therefor I would advise to pour 1/2 of the batter into a 9-inch spring-form pan coated with non-stick spray, and bake for a shorter period of time - 20-25 minutes - again until it turns golden brown. Then remove from the oven, and repeat. This way consistently sized layers will be produced. Although it takes longer, I find this to be a hard torte to slice. They will be later stacked on each other.
- Make the chocolate buttercream. Melt the 1 1/2 bars of butter until it is very soft but not molten in a microwave, then mix in previously melted chocolate which has now cooled slightly. Beat 3 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar over heat until thick, in a double boiler. When cooled, gradually mix in the chocolate buttercream, and beat well until combined. Then refrigerate until cooled.
- Blend 1/4 of the strawberries in a blender or other appropriate device. Beat 2/3 cup of heavy cream in a bowl until it is thick, and then add in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, continuing to beat. Add in 2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup, beat again. Add in 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch which will stabilize it, and beat once more. Hopefully it will hold together. Regardless, now place it into the refrigerate until it is cool. This step is very important, do not try to apply it onto the cake while it is warm.
- Place down one of the torte layers. Spread the chocolate buttercream on it. Dot with 1/4 of the strawberries, which have been hulled and sliced in half. Pour a healthy serving of the strawberry whipped cream over it, but reserving plenty to put over the top (... this should not be at all hard). Place the second torte layer on top. Spread the remaining strawberry cream on it. Decoratively arrange all the strawberries on top now. Keep refrigerated.