After my Mom passed one of the hardest things to go through was her recipe books. Filled with handwritten recipes for all kinds of dishes both savoury and sweet, I diligently went through them one at a time, deciding which ones to keep. I stumbled across quite a few recipes in her collection, like this Strawberry Topped Chocolate Torte, that I don’t remember her ever making… at least not when I was around to eat them. 😉
I tucked all the recipes of hers that I wanted to keep into one recipe binder and hid them away in the darkness of the kitchen cupboard. Last Christmas, when I gathered up all the cookie and cake recipes I wanted to make, a few recipes of hers came tumbling out. I sat down at my kitchen table in the fading light and poured over all these recipes wondering where she had found them, why I hadn’t made any of them and knew that I was going to have to make all of them.
This one for a Berry Topped Chocolate Torte caught my eye recently not only because my bestie and her man were coming to visit (and there is so little flour in this torte that it’s easy to make gluten free without even noticing) but also because the great day of love is coming up. Chocolate torte and sliced strawberries that look a little like hearts sounded just perfect to me. Although I didn’t save any torte to have on Valentine’s Day with the hubby, the memory of the four of us laughing and giggling this past weekend over a game of Cards Against Humanity while we devoured huge slices of this torte is all the love I could have wanted for this recipe of Mom’s.
Every time I look back through the recipes I have posted here so far I can feel the presence of my Opa, watching over me as I fold bread dough, my Mom, looking over my shoulder as I decorate a torte and my Oma, patiently waiting to have kaffeestunde with me and answer all my pressing baking questions.
So here I am now, working my way through Mom’s collection of recipes one at a time and hoping to somehow, in my own little way, immortalize the bakers in my family that have come before me.
If you liked this recipe you are going to love these ones!
Strawberry Topped Chocolate Torte
- 2/3 cup finely ground almonds
- 3 tbsp all-purpose, organic spelt flour also called white spelt flour
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp Grand Marnier
- 3 cups strawberries hulled and sliced
- white chocolate curls optional
Make the Cake
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment and sides of the pan with butter. Set aside. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two separate small bowls. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the ground almonds, flour and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Remove from the heat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand held electric beater, beat the egg yolks for approximately 4 minutes or until they are lighter in colour and thickened. Gradually blend in the cocoa mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the Grand Marnier and then the almond mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat again until stiff peaks form. Stir about 1/2 cup of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the rest of the egg whites and gently fold them in until completely incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out slightly moist. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the sides of pan. Let the cake cool completely.
Make the Topping
In a the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand held electric beater, beat the whipping cream with the Grand Marnier until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the torte right to the edges.
Starting at the outside edge, arrange the strawberries in circles with the tips pointing outwards. Continue overlapping the circles until the entire top of the torte is covered. Mound white chocolate curls in the centre (optional).
This is a great cake to make the day before you need it, chill in the fridge and the finish the topping the next day.