Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baking with Friends: Chocolate Torte

Through Facebook, I got to know that MY is an avid baker, especially baking cheesecakes. Ever since I started sharing pictures of my baking stints on FB, she has been actively commenting on my pictures and I have also sought for tips and opinions from her via her FB pictures. With all the active discussions, we were keen to meet up and have a baking session together! We tried to invite the rest of the girls (so that more people can share and finish up the food), but in the end, only XP and XL turned up. But it was good enough, as my kitchen is unable to accommodate more people. So the menu for the day: chocolate torte and pizza.

Contrary to what I have read online, it is actually possible to beat egg whites to stiff by hand, as demonstrated by MY. With her strong arms beating the hell out of the whites, the time taken to beat it to stiff is about the same as me using my electric mixer. Looking at her churning the whites, I finally understand how she managed to break her whisk. But nevertheless, I was really impressed with her. Apparently, she has been doing this all along as she feels that there is better control when beating by hand.
The egg whites were not very stiff, thus it was easier to fold in and there were less lumps. I left the folding to MY as I'm sure she has better technique than me.

This cake is best baked in a springform pan or one with a removable base, but I only have this normal cake tin. Hopefully the parchment paper can hold up the cake during unmoulding.
Unfortunately, the paper did not hold up the cake. We had to flip the cake on a plate before transferring onto the rack. Since the cake did not crack by much, flipping on the plate did not destroy the top by too much. But I would have preferred more cracks, which is how a perfect torte is supposed to be.

After sieving some icing sugar on top of the cake and tying a ribbon round it, I think the cake looks very pretty! We were all snapping away with our cameras.

We cut the cake while it was still warm. Can't wait to try it! The inside looks dense and moist, and we can smell the aroma from the chocolate. By the way, we used chocolate couverture droplets instead of the bar chocolate as stated in the recipe.
I bought vanilla ice cream specially to go with this cake. The cake is crispy on top, dense, moist and warm on the inside. It went perfectly well with the ice-cream. We all had second helpings of the cake. If not for my request to save a slice for my sister, I think we would have wolfed everything down. I would definitely make this again, and hope that I will yield the same, if not better results than this!

Ingredients (makes one 18cm cake):
150 g dark chocolate (I used chocolate couverture)
100 g butter, bring to room temperature
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
70 g caster sugar
30 g cake flour
15 g cocoa powder
Some icing sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degC. Line the bottom and sides of an 18cm round pan with parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks. Bring the eggs to room temperature. Sift together flour and cocoa powder, twice, set aside.
  3. Melt dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl is able to sit above the water and it should cover the pot so that steam will not get inside the bowl). Remove from heat. Add in butter and mix well. Let cool.
  4. With a manual whisk, whisk egg yolks with 35g of the caster sugar, till the mixture becomes thick, creamy and custard like.
  5. Add in the melted chocolate/butter mixture. Whisk till well mixed.
  6. Add in flour mixture and fold gently with a spatula. Set aside.
  7. Place egg whites in a clean mixing bowl, add in 1/3 of the 35g caster sugar. Beat the egg whites till it becomes foamy. Add in half of the remaining sugar and whisk till soft peak. Add in the remaining sugar and beat till stiff peaks form.
  8. Add the egg white to the egg yolk mixture in three addition. Fold in gently with a spatula, making sure all the egg whites are incorporated into the batter. Note that any unmixed egg white lumps may cause holes in the final product.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Tap the cake pan slightly on tabletop a few times to release any trapped bubbles in the batter. Bake at 170 degC for 30 ~ 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumb. The cake surface will start to crack while still in the oven.
  10. Remove cake from oven, leave it in the pan for about 5 mins. Unmould and let cool, right side up (do not invert) on wire rack.
  11. Sift icing sugar on cake surface.
Adapted from HHB's Classic Chocolate Cake/ Torte.

I started to prepare the pizza crust while waiting for the cake to bake. I used the same recipe as my previous attempt. Since I do not have a round pizza pan, we rolled in into a rectangle to fit my baking tray.

The best thing about homemade pizza is that you can add any topping you like. And it's also healthier, as you know what are the things you have added into your food. To decrease the calories intake, I bought low-fat Mozzarella cheese instead of the normal type.

This was not as salty as the ham version and the cheese was not as fragrant as the normal type. But it was still good nonetheless, as we added so much topping on a thin crispy crust.


  1. i still miss the taste of choc torte with vanilla ice cream!!

  2. Me too! I wanna bake it again!