double chocolate torte

My in-laws had their 35th anniversary this past week, and if you’ve been taking notes up until now (though why would you) you can imagine that this only created one requirement whichever dessert I brought to a barbeque this weekend: chocolate. Also, if it could have chocolate on top of that chocolate, it would be good too. And did we mention chocolate? Because we’re really into chocolate, and no amount of chocolate would be too much. This guy I married, who thinks that there are few higher kitchen callings than a chocolate-crusted, ganache-coated cheesecake with cubes of brownies inside? He didn’t develop this obsession in a vacuum.

1/2 lb.medium peaksmoussetexture

Epicurious has been such a superstar lately in locating cake recipes so decked out in praise, half my work is done for me, I couldn’t resist calling on it again, this time pulling up some ungodliness by the name of Double Chocolate Torte. One pound of chocolate and three-quarters of a pound of butter later, I think we hit a new record of caloric indecency.

crown of raspberriesdouble chocolate torte

Eyes popped and stomachs rumbled at the sight of this chocolate-roaring beast, which was really a torte because the cake–an almost-flourless cocoa bomb–is just the base for a super-thick layer of mousse. A slick of unsweetened whipped cream tops the mousse layer, then a layer of fresh raspberries (or what would have been a full layer if the ridiculously overpriced raspberries we’d bought weren’t half past-their-prime) and I wish I could show you how gorgeous the cross-section was, but the camera battery had the nerve to die just as we were digging in. You’ll have to trust me: it’s a stunner and I wouldn’t change a thing about it, except to not eat a single thing for the entire day before it. This baby demands your stomach’s complete attention.

if you ever want  a good reason to hate medoughnutsdoughnutsdoughnutsraspberry doughnutdoughnuts

Elsewhere: Over at today, I have some photos and a short blurb about the Doughnut Plant on Grand Street, and I suggest that you don’t go over there at all if you a) are hungry or b) have a weakness for old-fashioned deep fried deserts in new-fangled flavors. Like Valrhona chocolate glazed. Or tres leches-tunneled. Or square ones with homemade jam in burrowed each corner. Mastercard cannot be held responsible for drooled-upon keyboards. Really, it says so in my contract.

One year ago: Moules a la Mariniere and Baked Pommes Frites

Double Chocolate Torte
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2000

Makes 10 servings

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup whipping cream, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons red currant jelly melted with 1 tablespoon water
Red currant bunches (optional)

For cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; dust with sugar. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and salt, then flour. Pour batter into pan. Bake until cake just rises in center (tester inserted into center will not come out clean), about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cover; chill while making mousse.

For mousse: Melt butter in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk yolks, 1/4 cup cream and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into bowl with melted butter. Whisk constantly over simmering water until thermometer registers 150°F, about 6 minutes (mixture may appear broken). Remove from over water; add chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk 1/4 of beaten egg white mixture into warm chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour mousse over cake in pan; smooth top. Chill torte until mousse is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Run sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen torte. Release pan sides. Transfer torte to platter. Using electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream over torte. Top whipped cream with raspberries. Brush red currant jelly mixture over raspberries. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Garnish with currants, if desired.

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155 comments on double chocolate torte

  1. Now imagine if someone stole that cake from right under your nose. Imagine how sad Alex would be if it was just gone.

    That’s how I feel about the empenadas. I am still sooo depressed.

  2. SantaDad

    I always knew there was something special about Alex. Anyone who is so partial to chocolate can’t be bad … not at all. Keep “the boy” happy, ….. and don’t forget me.

  3. See, now, you’re a very smart lady, Deb. Some people would be tempted to put on a sweetened whipped cream or even a frosting of some kind. But it’s such a lovely balance to have that unsweetened whipped cream balancing out the eye-popping sweetness of such a devilishly good cake. I applaud you and your in-laws (for making it 35 years!!).

  4. wow. that looks. amazing. i’m trying to think of an upcoming event that would excuse such an extravagance. damn my friends and family for not being born in late summer/early fall!

  5. Illiya

    I hear you about Donut Planet. My neighborhood coffee shop carries their donuts and it is insanely big and delicious. If I ever went to the actual store, I will probably stay there for awhile (indecisiveness kicks in) and then, get all of them at the end (lack of discipline kicks in). Sigh.

    And this chocolate cake looks very decadent.

  6. Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve awakened a craving in me that I didn’t know was there. And no photos of the inside? Looks like I’ll have to make one of these to see how it looks once it’s cut into. My boy has the chocolate gene, too, so he won’t be complaining.

  7. Oh, man, you’re killing me. All that chocolate, and then raspberries, and then donuts. I didn’t click the link, though, because I would probably go crazy and end up at Dunkin Donuts tomorrow morning, and then feel sad that it’s just not the same.

      1. deb

        It keeps just fine fully assembled in the fridge. Mousse, once chilled, can be hard to reshape without re-whipping, so best to spread it on right away.

  8. It’s going to take me a while to stop fantasizing about Doughnut Plant. I’m SO glad that it’s located in NYC and not in Amsterdam, because I know that I’d show no restraint and lose the rest of my disappearing waistline. Your cake was beautiful, btw…your Alex is a lucky fellow!

  9. Jim

    three-quarters of a pound of butter

    Oh god. Must stop desperately wanting this cake. This is the kind of thing they were talking about on NPR this morning, this is why I’m overwei…

    …oh, to hell with it, I’ll go jogging every day for a week, I just have to eat this cake.

  10. akaellen

    Sadly my trip to doughnut plant was in vain as they are closed on Monday (aargh) -this was in the early days – and I was devastated. On my trip to NYC last year I still didn’t make it to the actual store but I did snag a DP at Grand Central station. YUM but not quite the same as going to the flagship! Also I just looked at their menu and I need to know what the trademarked Blackout doughnut is crafted from! and last thing – I see on the DP website that they have a NC connection — also very cool to see how the doughnut tiles are made (see DP website). No my only question is Why isn’t there a DP here in NC???

  11. I read “This baby demands your stomach’s complete attention” as “THE baby demands myr stomach’s complete attention,” and thought that there was something in your proverbial oven that you had neglected to mention!

    This cake looks and sounds absolutely amazing. I will be making it this weekend — it’s perfect for my chocolate obsessed family!

  12. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! This cake is dense, rich, and full-flavored.
    But I have chocolate allergy. What is more I am on a slimimg diet and so..I am avoiding to eat all chocolate products :(

  13. Mapolina, that’s a real shame! I love chocolate too and I’m one big fatty from eating too much – I just can’t help it though. I bought an iPod to go running and cycling with. I’d definitely recommend one. Are you able to buy chocolate that you’re not allergic to?

  14. John! The allergy’s reason is cocoa. What it will be the choco without cocoa?
    Probably this is called differently, not chocolate. Most likely such kind of antiallergic products is the reason of your deformed fat!
    Deary, you are eating way too much! ;)

  15. I think your story of how you met is romantical, I love that word romantical.
    It’s an amazing story that you met over a recipe and that’s exactly how I would describe your meeting in the exact words that you blogged it.
    I am so wanting to make that incredible cake you made your in-laws for their anniversary, my 33 rd anniversary is coming up in 2 weeks and I am going to surprise my hubby with this cake.
    BTW, I met my husband in a garage, his garage. He was in their playing with a band and when I entered the room he was singing and I instantly fell in love with him. Him…..not so much. I chased him and won his heart in 2 weeks. He was 23 and I was 17 and it’s still working great. I love him more everyday.
    :) Bren

  16. Lothaire

    I made this cake for my wife’s birthday, and it worked out VERY well. The only problem is that the leftovers went to her office… and now I’m getting requests to make it for other birthdays! At least I’ll be able to steal a bit for myself before it heads out the door… :)

  17. Amy O

    Oh yeah! This is a good one!! Made it for dinner last friday. I only had a 9″ springform, so I had to bake it a bit longer, and it was a bit tough to tell when it rose in the center (the top was sort of rolling hills and valleys). So I just pulled it out after an extra 10 minutes. Also in the mousse recipe, the ingredients list 1/2 cup plus 1-1/2 tsp of sugar–but the extra tsp of sugar wasn’t mentioned again, so I just left it out and didn’t miss it. The results were divine and extremely rich. My family informed me that it would be OK if I kept this recipe :-)

  18. Wren

    I made this Sunday. Family dinner night. Everyone raved about it. My Grannie was really impressed with my skills and the presentation. I had leftovers so I brought them into the office. My girlfriend has requested that I make this for her birthday! I’m a rock star…Thanks Deb!

  19. This is my second time making this!

    Second ’round I used Green & Black Organic for the base. For some reason, though, I noticed that the baking time was shortened. Hmm.

    It was a HUGE hit the first time I made it. I expect the second time will yield even better results.

    Btw this thing is HUGE and very rich, so you can easily serve 10.

  20. I have made this the last two years for my husbands birthday..he adores it. I even sent a couple frozen pieces home to his family in KS (I’m in PA) to knock their sox off before they even met me, when we were dating. Ahhh. Click my name to see my blog post with pics.

  21. Wow, thanks so much for this! This has got to be the chocolatiest cake ever and is a real piece of heaven. I love the combination of squidgy cake, smooth, rich moose and cream. Definitely one for afternoon tea though as it’s so enormous and rich that it deserves to be savoured as a meal on its own. It has also made me extremely popular with friends.

  22. Norma

    I just bought all the ingredients for this cake, and I’m going to give it a try….the only problem I’m going to have, is I’m taking it to a BBQ tomorrow afternoon, and I guess I won’t be ablet to put that whipped cream on until I get there to whip it up…I hate doing anything in their kitchen…I don’t know them all that well, but oh well, hopefully, it’ll be WORTH IT!!~ ( i JUST SPENT $18. FOR TWO SMALL PKG. OF FRESH RASPBERRIES!!!) ugh!!! LOL!!!

  23. Lin

    This looks fantastic! I’m going to try it over the weekend, but I hate whipped cream! Can I leave that out do you think?

  24. Sophie

    Woohooo! Thanks so much, Deb this was awesome. I was searching for the perfect dessert for my mom’s birthday, she is the chocolate lover in our family, and I knew a pound of chocolate would be just about right. It was unbelievable. It really was simple to do, too! And my dad, who doesn’t care for rich desserts and prefers maybe a fruit cobbler, ate his entire rich delicious piece in record time. Thanks for making me look great! :)

  25. Lauren

    This was the most amazing thing ever. Definitely one of those desserts you make when you want to show off or impress! Aaaaand, it’s great if you make it a day ahead so it can sit for 24 hours in the fridge. The cake tastes almost like fudge! Mmmmmmm!

  26. Jenny

    THE perfect dessert. Birthday? Make it. Wedding? Sure. Break up? Got pregnant?Yes, two. Hired, fired, car broke down, exams, win the lottery? MAKE it. If you are celebrating, it`s perfect. If you are depressed, it`s still perfect.
    Everyone should have this cake. We all have a reason.

  27. Leigh

    Hi everyone- I’m going to make this tomorrow for my FIL’s birthday. Do you think it would be okay without the mousse, maybe with a nice strawberry coulis instead?

  28. Emily Elayne

    Okay, I’ve read through the recipe twice and I think the combination of recipe and pictures has got me confused…

    For the mousse do I eventually end up mixing all of the ingredients together? From the picture it doesn’t look as if there is any chocolate in the mousse…

  29. deb

    The mousse directions are in the second paragraph and they include chocolate so I am not sure I am following… Perhaps the picture you are looking at is the whipped egg whites or whipped cream?

    This “torte” is three layers — first, a flourless chocolate cake, which you bake and let cool. Then you make a mousse, which is not baked (aside from the part that is cooked over the stove) and spread it over the cake layer. Finally, you spread whipped cream over the whole thing and if you’d like, garnish it with fresh raspberries. I hope that clarifies it.

  30. I made this this weekend and it is absolutely spectacular! It seems complicated to make but it’s not! I even put the cake with the mousse in the freezer to speed the hardening of the mousse. I also had to make it non-dairy!

  31. Emily

    Hey Deb,
    This cake is fantastic. I made it for a friend’s birthday this week. Couldn’t get the egg whites to stiffen because it was super hot and humid but it was still delicious. Put it in the freezer to set up, put strawberries on top since the piggly wiggly had no raspberries, and it was AMAZING. My friends have renamed it ‘orgasm cake’.

  32. Mel Henry

    Hi Deb,

    Mel from New Zealand here. I stumbled on your website the other day and stayed because of the beautiful photographs. All of your stories and recipes are what I love about food!

    I made this cake the other day and it was destroyed by my partner and flatmate in about a day. They weren’t feeling too well after that! Im going to make the coq au vin this Sunday.

    Your cooking blog has now reached my number one blog favourite.

  33. Dana

    hi deb – do you think it would work just as well to use chocolate chips? i’m hoping to try this one out for my mom’s birthday!

  34. hey Deb :)

    I’m a college kid who’s been following your blog since before I was a college kid, and it took me a few years, but I finally decided to jump in and attempt a few of your coolest recipes. It just so happens that a good friend of mine had a birthday recently, and having witnessed her love of/devotion to/obsession with chocolate, I knew this had to be my cakey contribution. It turned out great, and she was thrilled despite the fact that my cake wasn’t Smitten Kitchen Pretty!

    Keep doing what you do, lady!!

  35. Izzy

    I just made this for my husbands birthday last night… loaded it with raspberries ~ hoped to serve 16 people. Let me tell you, it was a SMASH HIT. Gorgeous, delectable, chocolate, perfect. Thank you for another fantastic recipe!

  36. Heidi

    I am planning to make this on Monday for my husband’s birthday. My question is about the chocolate. Do you think the percentage of dark chocolate makes a difference? For instance, Trader Joe’s sells a 54% and a 73% dark semisweet chocolate. My inclination is to go for the 73% but wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter.

  37. Heidi

    We ate this last night- amazing! Beautiful looking and a wonderful mix of textures and flavors- mostly chocolate. The unsweetened whipped cream was perfect.
    Thanks for this recipe. Btw, I used a combination of the 54% and 73% chocolates and it worked out just fine.

  38. Brurya

    Do you think I could make the cake a day before serving?
    Would you assemble right before serving, or could it be done the day before?

  39. Erica

    This was amazing!! I baked it today for my husband’s birthday and let me tell you the comments and sounds were amazing!

    It is very rich and very tasty so make sure you have a large class of milk or water to go with it!

  40. Debbie

    This looks delicious! I would love to make this for my boyfriend’s birthday. I was just wondering though if it is possible to make it 2 days in advance?

  41. Susanna

    I made this today with a fellow foodie. I feel totally sick, so I know it was a good cake. I’m lactose intolerant so really I shouldn’t have eaten it, but it looked so good, I had to. I had to have two pieces, in fact. I have to admit that I cheated and used my usual mousse recipe, as following this one was too much for my post-work brain. It was still really good though. I love how the base is so thick and fudgy and the top light (but deadly in its own way). And I don’t regret buying obscenely expensive raspberries, either.

  42. Sandy

    This looks amazing. I think it will be perfect to make for a friend’s birthday next month (I like to plan ahead). The problem is that I don’t know if I’ll be able to find fresh raspberries in December. I know he would love the raspberry/chocolate combination, so I don’t want to leave them out. Any thoughts on what I can do instead? Maybe using frozen ones to make a sauce or something like that?

  43. Julie

    I’m wondering if you could make the cake and mousse part ahead of time and freeze it. I’d like to then pull it out of the freezer the day of or the day before serving and finish with the topping, but would it hold up to that or ruin it?

  44. Meena

    I made this torte for my husband’s birthday in November and it went over very well. Now he has requested a minty version for Christmas, which I think might be doable. Maybe I’ll skip the raspberries to accommodate the mint, but not sure of the best way to incorporate it. Peppermint extract in the mousse layer? Chopped up pieces of Andes mint candies added to the chocolate for the cake layer? Crushed up candy canes sprinkled over the whipped cream? All of the above? Any recommendations on the type/ amount of mint would be *much* appreciated… experimenting makes me nervous ;-)

    1. deb

      That sounds delicious. Love the Andes candies or crushed candy cane idea. My only suggestion would be to go easy on the peppermint extract. The stuff is very strong and even 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon might be enough for the whole torte.

  45. cleo

    Hi – made this for a friend over the weekend and it looked fab but turned out a tad too sweet :( did you use unsweetened choc chips?

  46. Just wondering – if I chill the cake and mousse overnight, will the mousse hold its shape if I take it outside the fridge for few hours?.
    Thanks! <3

  47. Greta

    I made this last night for my middle school’s trivia team. We all loved it! It’s my second SK recipe and I’m really impressed. I think I’ll be making it for Passover (not completely flourless, I know, but nobody’s really rigid about that at my family’s seders) I love reading your blog and I’m hoping to tackle more of the recipes on it soon! Thanks, Deb! ?

  48. Britta

    Wow. This cake is certainly a stunner. I made it for my husband’s birthday this weekend and people were floored. These were foodie-type people too. Thanks for the great recipe!

  49. Jenyfer

    Ok, so here’s my question… I’d like to make this, but have to transport it. Do you think it will keep for a good 2 hours? With the whipped cream? It’s only a 1/2 hour trip and it can stay in the refrigerator once we get there, but celebrating at a restaraunt. Have to put it in their refrigerator. Do you think I should go for it? Or save it for a later time? Not sure about these mousses!

    1. deb

      Yes, it will be fine out of the fridge for two hours provided you’re not somewhere unseemly hot and it wouldn’t be in the direct sun.

  50. Mickie

    I am baking this in a 10″ pie dish (springform pan was bent and leaky). I had a little batter left over for a ramekin cake as an extra treat. So far so good!

  51. Amy

    What’s up with this mousse recipe? It calls for 1 cup of cream, but then the directions only have you using 1/4 cup.. I made it like the directions say, only using 1/4 cup, and I guess it turned out fine (haven’t tasted it yet. It’s the filling for a cake I’m assembling tomorrow), but still… MUCH unneeded stress and confusion IN THE MIDDLE OF BAKING.

  52. deb

    The remaining 3/4 cup is use in the last paragraph, to make whipped cream. That said, I will add in the word “divided” to give you a heads up that you will not use the 1 cup all at once.

  53. Lilla

    Hi Deb!
    This cake is always a STAR! it is full proof. Just made it for my sisters’ sweet 16 ( first time baked it for my dad’s 50th) and it is a success every time. Thanks so much for writing and sharing with us!


  54. Bella

    hi! i’m making this for my brother’s birthday tonight, and, since i’m not very experienced in cake making things i whipped the cream to much and now it has seperated and turned rather awful. Do you think i could swap the cream with cream cheese and have a cream cheese frosting? thanks, Bella xx

  55. Priyanka

    Hey Deb,
    I’m planning to make this torte for my boyfriends birthday later next week. All I have is a 7-inch-diameter springform pan. Do you recommend cutting down the recipe or making a thicker torte? Also, do I need to bake it for longer? If yes, then how much longer?

  56. Meena

    So, as a grossly belated update to comment #61, I would like to report that my minty version of this torte turned out fabulously. For anyone interested in trying it out, I ended up skipping the peppermint extract (thanks for the word of caution, Deb!) and used 4oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, 3oz Andes mints, and 1oz semisweet chocolate in the cake layer, and 3oz bittersweet, 1oz Andes mints, and 4oz semisweet in the mousse layer. I decorated the whipped cream with a spiral of crushed (powdered?) candy canes. Great dessert for the holidays! Deb, you’re a constant inspiration. Thanks for doing what you do!

  57. Tim S.

    I made this (minus the whipped cream on top, I served it on the side with fresh berries)to wrap up a 6 course meal. I could have served anything the first five courses… All anyone remembered was this torte! So amazing, and a easier to make than I thought it would be. Love this site! Also, have you ever switched it up and used white chocolate for the mousse?

  58. Debra

    Any thoughts on how to get some coffee flavor in here? I’m baking this gorgeous cake this weekend for a friend’s birthday who thinks nothing is complete without a chocolate/coffee mix. Thanks!

  59. Erin

    I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday party, and it was a huge hit! My springform pan is 9″ (not 10), so I ended up needing to bake the cake layer 5-10 mins longer, and I didn’t have any raspberries so I shaved some chocolate on top.

    Deb, you have become my go-to resource for his birthdays; last year he got the brownie/chocolate/cheesecake, and this morning I made the cinnamon swirl buns. So far, no complaints!

  60. Lindsay

    If you don’t use a springform pan, make sure you put down flour or parchment paper, because I had major problems with this cake sticking to the pan. Also, I would advise not frosting it before you take it out of the pan. Tastes AMAZING though. Swapped raspberries for strawberries.

  61. Courtney

    I made this for Mother’s Day over the weekend and it was very delicious. A few things happened though to make this an epic torte battle. One of my egg yolks broke when i was separating the eggs and although I really really tried to get every last bit out, my meringue just never came together so i had to start over again on that (ugh!). My springform pan leaked just a touch so I would recommend putting it on a cookie sheet to protect your oven. Mine also got stuck to the sharp knife as I was trying to separate it from the pan, so I just released the springform and it came out clean! The jelly was also a bit hard to brush on the raspberries. Think I will skip that step next time. All together though, this was my first torte and everyone said they loved it. It’s rich and decadent, just as expected, but sooo yummy. Thanks Deb!

  62. Sarah

    I ran out of time, so just made the bottom layer and skipped the mousse, but did the whipped cream and berries.
    It was still pretty amazing.

    1. deb

      Elisha — I think it would be delicious. If you have a good orange oil, a couple drops could be added to the mousse too. (Boyajian is a brand I like for this.)

  63. Kathy

    Just curious about substituting white chocolate for the bittersweet chocolate for the mousse? My favorite bakery (sadly closed) used to make a tuxedo tarte with a chocolate brownie base, rasberry sauce and white chocolate mousse and I’ve been trying for years to recreate it without any luck. Thanks!!

  64. Robin

    I’m really excited to make this for my bestfriend’s birthday! I was wondering if baking little individual servings as cupcakes would be possible? I was considering using my muffin tin and parchment cupcake cups– what bake time would you suggest for that?

  65. Havanna

    Has anyone had success in freezing the cake part of this torte? I took a chance and froze mine – will finish it in a few days’ time for a birthday.

  66. Safrina

    Hi Deb,

    I’d like to bake this cake soon. I just have one question. In India you don’t really get large eggs. And your recipe requires 5 large eggs. How many eggs do you think I will need?

    Thanks again!

  67. Safrina

    Thank you so much!

    One last thing.

    I am going to be baking this for my boyfriend’s birthday party. It’s in a farm house, slightly away from the city. So I planned to make the cake the previous night and set it over night. But I’m worried if the cake will melt or become unmanageable while I transport it. And there is no refrigerator there. So do you think the cake will endure a 2 hour long drive?

  68. Kate

    hi deb :)
    i am going to attempt making a layered chocolate cake for a friends birthday and was hoping to do (from bottom up) a layer of cake, a layer of mouse, cake, ganache, cake, mousse, cake. made from two cakes split in half, i was wondering if this mousse would be suitable as a filling? Maybe to spread it and freeze before adding the next layer? any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!
    P.s. I love love love your book and have read it cover to cover no less that 7 times :)

  69. Thanks Deb! I did use plenty of whipped cream and it was wonderful. This cake is incredibly rich and delicious.

    One word of caution: this might not be the best cake to bring to a barbeque in the heat of summer! After about 20 minutes in the (air-conditioned) car, the beating sun through the windows was still too much and made the delicate, moussey sides start to melt off, after which whole sheets started sliding off onto my poor husband’s lap. When we got to our destination, we smoothed the sides and did a little reconstructive surgery, and it was still gorgeous and most importantly, delicious. It got rave reviews and was rich enough to feed about 16 people. I will definitely make this again, either on a cooler day or when it can stay safely in my fridge!

  70. Jessie

    I would love to make this a bit more raspberry flavored. Do you think i could add raspberry preserves between the cake and mousse layers?

  71. I am traveling quite a ways to visit my brother for his birthday and have promised him a cake. Predictably, when I referred him to your list of cakes to pick one, he asked about this one. Unfortunately, I am staying with some friends when I am there and am unsure of the kitchen situation. Do you think i could make this all at home, freeze the bottom layer, and keep the mousse chilled and just assemble it there? I would make it Tuesday night and we would be eating it Thursday night. Would the mousse keep that long?

  72. Kate

    Thanks, Meena, for your comment. I was wondering if it would work to save money to use some chocolate chips and some high quality chocolate–sounds like it will!

  73. Melanie

    I am making this for my daughter’s birthday and am wondering if it would freeze well with the mousse layer already on top. Anyone have any tips?

  74. meesha

    I made this the other day and it wad ridiculously delicious and well balanced. Thank you! I’ll be getting more recipes from you for sure!

  75. Ena

    P.S. And it tastes great. Especially if you slice it and let it stay at room temperature for a short while, it melts even more in your mouth.

  76. Adele

    I made this last night for a birthday party and it is officially my new go-to celebration cake. I served it with a raspberry coulis and it was devoured, with comments such as “I never knew a cake this good could be made at home.” The birthday girl was delighted. Fantastic site–thank you!

  77. Mai

    Deb, I would like to make this for my brother in law’s bday this weekend as he is a total chocoholic. Is the mousse considered to have raw eggs here, or do you think heating up to 150 degrees makes it OK?

  78. Jenny

    I love this cake and have made it numerous times. My question is the bottom layer is similar to a flour less chocolate cake but it asks for 1/4 cup. Can you just omit it?

    1. deb

      It’s an almost flourless cake, which means it’s more likely that other cake recipes to not fall apart without the flour, but nevertheless, I haven’t tried making this without it. Is this a gluten issue? If so, I might try almond meal or a GF flour mix to replace it before omitting it entirely, just to play it safer. Do let us know how it goes — I’m sure others would like to try the same that you do.

  79. Maria

    I just made this for my sister’s birthday on Friday and it was not so great. I’m not sure if I messed it up. First off, I didn’t make it in a springform pan because I didn’t have enough batter for the dish. Secondly, I think the oven time may be too long? Especially for the pan I had so the came out quite dry rather than rich. It also stuck to the bottom of the pan even though I buttered up the dish I used to bake it in. The batter also grew all over the place when it was baking. The sides almost came out entirely and the cake ended up with this depression in the middle. It wasn’t too awful, though. I’ve never had a bad experience with anything that requires baking time on this website, but I was almost too embarrassed to serve it. It surprised me that it was so dry when it calls for five eggs and two sticks of butter.

  80. deb

    Hi Maria — I’m sorry it didn’t work out. Can I ask what kind of dish you used — size and material? If glass, it would have benefitted from being baked a lower temperature to prevent scotching. It sounds like it needed less baking time too in the new dish. I’m surprised it grew so much — did it collapse after baking? I hope the deliciousness of the mousse made up for the cake issues, at least. :)

  81. Since there’s no way to comment over there, the conversions page you linked to for Safrina has some weirdnesses. Mainly in the weight of white granulated sugar, which seems to vary wildly.

    Also, I’ve made this cake and it’s lovely. Can’t say what it’s like yet other than that, but I’m eager to find out.

  82. The cake turned out really well. Yummy. I do have a question though, Deb; the cake part shrank when it cooled, (smaller in diameter) so with the mousse added it left unsightly gaps once the cake was de-panned. Any suggestions to prevent cake shrinkage? Did I overcook it? Or overbeat it once flour was added?

    Also, I used parchment paper in two ways that I’d recommend to anyone. I traced a circle with the rim of the springform and then cut that out leaving two “ears” as handles; that way there was no sticking, and I could put the edge of the cake on a plate and grab an ear and use it to peel the parchment while sliding the springform base out. I also cut out a strip of parchment (30″ for my 9″ springform) and lined the sides. Once the whole cake was chilled, I used a sharp pair of scissors to trim the parchment all the way around, leaving 1/4″ sticking up above the mousse. That way when I added the whipped cream, I could spread it directly to the edge into the parchment. Once the parchment was peeled off it left a perfectly squared corner of whipped cream.

    And, the cake was delicious. I stole Adele’s idea and served it with a bit of raspberry coulis, which was perfect.

    1. deb

      There are a few for sale on Amazon, but I agree: it’s not the most standard size. I wish I could remember if this cake worked in a 9-inch; I feel like it should, and you should definitely try it if that’s the only size you have (or wish to buy). If you’re pouring in the cake batter and it goes up to less than an inch from the top, hold some batter back to play it safe. The cake base puffs and then sinks so in the end, a taller cake (what you’d get from a smaller circumference pan) shouldn’t be an issue.

  83. As I mentioned in the comment just before Cathryn’s, I used a 9″ springform. Aside from slight radial shrinkage, (which I actually expect would have been worse with a 10″ pan) it came out perfectly. Not that that answers Cathryn’s question or anything.

  84. Magdalena

    Deb, I was wondering if I could convert it into a two layer cake… meaning I would put one more cake on top of the mousse and finish it up with your swiss buttercream frosting. I’m trying to make my son’s birthday cake and he is into monsters ( which is totally cool for a 4year old :) so I found this idea :
    I love your recipes so I hope you don’t mind me asking.
    Thanks so much!

  85. Oh dear. I was watching a documentary about particle physics while trying to do this cake and I’ve just put ALL the chocolate into the cake portion… I only realized the mistake when I went to do the mousse and discovered I had NO chocolate left. I’ll er, keep you posted o how it turns out :(

  86. The cake came out very molten so I chilled it in the fridge over night. I extract a core sample for taste testing and found that it was actually still quite delicious. Twice as chocolatey, no doubt, but the consensus seems to be that there’s no such thing as TOO chocolatey. Now I’m thinking I will make the mousse without the chocolate and put it on top anyway. However, I don’t have a thermometer. Deb – what is the purpose of making sure that it reaches 150 F? Thanks!

  87. Vincenza

    Hi there, I’m wondering how the cake batter doesn’t just leak out of the springform pan? I know that my pan definitely leaks, because I wanted to use it for a regular cake once, so I filled it with water to test and it all came pouring out. Is this just because I have a crappy pan? I’ve only ever used it to bake cheesecakes with crusts

  88. deb

    Vincenza — Are you saying that the pan leaked when you made this? Springforms do have a tendency to leak, but not all do, some are better than others. That said, just because water trickles out doesn’t mean that cake batter will, as it’s thicker. Plus, as soon as it hits the oven, it begins to set and definitely won’t leak then. The second part of this cake is a mousse, which is too thick to leak, as is the whipped cream topping. Hope that helps. Oh, and btw, I find springforms to be more prone to leaking with cheesecakes (because crumb crusts don’t make tight seals) than with standard cakes.

  89. Beth P

    I’ve read all the comments but I’m still not sure – I’m planning to make this tonight for a dinner party 2 days from now. Can I leave it in the fridge and top it off with the cream right before dinner? Or freeze it? It makes me nervous to freeze, but I don’t want it to be dry either.


  90. A quandary: cooking at my mother-in-law’s and want to make this, but she only has two 9 inch (not springform) cake pans that are quite shallow (i.e. barely 2 inches tall). Do I try to split the cake between the two pans and make this a layered situation (with mouse in the middle and on top, maybe)? Will the cake deflate in the middle too much for me to make the layers work?

    1. deb

      Stepahnie — I can’t think of the specific cake, but I vaguely remember a Maida Heatter recipe that uses this sinking intentionally to create a cool cake. Basically, you make it so the sunken tops face the inside of the cake and fill it with the mousse here, then chill it together. It’s very pretty. For your purposes, I might go ahead and make double the cake and make sure you line the bottom with parchment so you have the best chance of getting the cakes out easily. (They’re full of butter, so it should be fine, but a little insurance never hurts.) Good luck!

      1. Rachel

        Deb- there is a Dorie Greenspan double chocolate mousse cake recipe that you might be thinking of and to that point I was wondering if you’ve made it since this post originally posted because it has this option for baking the mousse in two different and intentionally distinct layers but also there’s an option for chilling the mousse in the baked mousse crust. But I think that there should be at least three layers! First layer of mousse gets baked and puffs and then caves in the middle, is cooled and the rest of the mousse is also chilled before adding a portion of what’s left back on top and baking a second time from a chilled state. Removing from oven and cooling to room temp before chilling (I know! A third time) and then adding the final and ultra ultra decadent 3 layer to stay chilled and smooth out the top of the torte and give (ideally) 3 distinct textures when served chilled. But also as the mousse top will gently warm to room temp while it’s served it takes on an entirely different texture that’s lighter than the dense mousse that’s chilled and holy hell I now feel like this can all be achieved with maybe having a FOURTH layer of not quite as chilled mousse dolopped on top amongst unsweetened fresh whipped cream dolops and omg my birthday is Monday and I will get to experimenting right away!!! Will let you know how it goes and please feel free to offer any tips you can think of for my “triple or maybe even quadruple layer mousse torte that might have me in a chocolate coma starting out my thirties!!!!!”

  91. Truly lives up to the hype, perfect to celebrate my husband’s graduation celebration.
    Used semisweet chocolate and it was not overly sweet– currently sending this recipe out to 10 people who requested it after our party.

  92. Julie

    I have no idea if mine turned out to be a “torte” or “mousse” for that matter, but it was delicious and sooooo dense and chocolately I don’t even care. Coworkers loved it!

    thank you for sharing!

    1. Julie

      also for anyone out there like me who doesn’t have a springform pan (but am getting one now..) I was able to get it out of a normal cake pan lined with parchment, the mousse was juuuust solid enough to flip on a piece of wax paper without being crushed after taking out of the fridge in the morning after chilling overnight for about 8 hours or so.

  93. Scott

    I love this recipe! I think I’ve made it four or five times in the last year.
    The cake/torte doesn’t always come out consistent for me. I would like to try to cook it to a target temperature using a temp probe in the middle since it is covered in mousse in the end anyway. Any idea what temp I should cook it to? Happy Thanksgiving!

  94. Smriti ahuja

    Made this today… In making the mousse it doesn’t mention, but i sort of tempered the yolks with the butter. It’s one of the best things I’ve made!! Added a little orange zest to the mousse.

  95. Lisa

    My only responsibility for Thanksgiving this year was dessert, so I wanted to do something “fancy.” This torte was perfect! It looked and tasted fancy but was also accessible for a not-tremendously-skilled-baker like me. My cake stuck a bit to the bottom of the pan, and I didn’t have a good cake knife, and I put the raspberries too close to the edge; but other than those little and fixable things, it was perfect and everyone absolutely loved it. This goes into my “signature dessert” rotation. If you like chocolate, you will like this cake. (Note in the picture that the raspberries are not right on the edge. Put them in far enough toward the center of the cake so they don’t fall off when you slice.)

  96. This looks delicious and I have all of these things in my cupboard making it perfect for lockdown! Is there any way I could adjust the baking time and temperature so that I can bake this in individual portions? And would using GF flour work as a substitute? Thanks!

  97. Kate

    This was a very ambitious recipe worthy of a finally-together-again pandemic Christmas, but unfortunately, we found it too rich. It’s delicious but with 6 adults and 5 kids, we only finished about a third of it over 2 days, and the rest will probably be thrown out (which is a horrible waste of food) because it is just so, so heavy. A one inch slice feels like enough for a lifetime. It just fills you up and sits in your stomach. I liked each individual component a lot but if I make it again I will do the cake or the mousse, not both. (Nb, I did not have the means to purchase raspberries in the middle of winter so I don’t know if their addition would have changed the experience.)

  98. Ann

    My daughter in-law made this recipe for my birthday cake. Oh my gosh it was so delicious and so beautiful to look at. Love your recipes!

  99. Lorraine Kirsten

    I would love to make this, but my husband is lactose intolerant. Can I substitute evaporated goat milk for the cream in the mousse? If so, do you think putting the evaporated milk in the freezer and then whipping it would work for the top? Or, perhaps, whipping chilled coconut milk, or coconut cream? I would hate to attempt this and have it come out a big failure.

    Thanks for the help!!

  100. Lydia W.

    I’ve made this cake two or three times (it’s SO delicious!) and every time, I’ve had a huge issue with it sticking to the bottom of my springform pan. Not a huge issue if I’m eating it at home, but it’s a huge pain to transfer to a cake stand. Anyone have any tips for getting it to not stick??