Friday, August 19, 2011

Chocolate Mocha Vertical Layer Torte

The Idea:

Since my favorite & inconveniently located bakery discontinued making what they called "Coffee Torte," I had mentally added this type of torte to my "must copycat" list. I love Mocha tortes of any kind, but what made this torte unique was its vertical layering. I always wondered how they do it at the bakery and if I could make it myself. The delicious repeating mocha frosting coupled with cherries and sandwiched between layers of chocolate cake then smothered in ganache in my mind comes very close to the perfect torte. The bakery used to always put some elaborate shaved chocolate decorations on top for an aesthetic touch, perfecting this creation.

The Recipe:

Frosting and decorating frosting: Janet is Hungry Mocha Walnut Torte frosting

Fruit filling: Raspberry low sugar preserves

Pink decorations: Leftover strawberry chocolate pieces from Barbie's dress No Alterations on recipes

The Construction:

I usually do not comment on the actual building of the cake, but since that was such an important part of this torte, I will elaborate. I decided to make a giant, stout roullade which would be tipped on the side and frosted, then covered in ganache.

The chocolate cake was baked in thin layers on cookie sheets covered in parchment, then immediately rolled up so that it would bend:I then measured and cut the rolls into 8 cm pieces, which I frosted and covered in the preserves: Then the strips were rolled into a giant roll and put in a springform pan to cool and solidify in the refrigerator for easier frosting: (I admit at this point I thought I was going to end up with a giant, crumbly mess!) The Result:
As far as rough drafts go, I think I did OK on this one. The result was much better than I thought it would be structurally. The frosting was a bit too heavy under the ganache and not quite enough between the layers. If I attempt this torte again, I will use a different cake recipe, because while this chocolate is delicious on its own, it is too rich for this multifaceted cake. The recipe has to be a bit more simple and not quite as rich and sweet. The original bakery version had cherries, but due to my own snafu I had to use raspberry preserves I had on hand. The preserves were fine, but I would have liked to have some stewed, crushed and drained cherries instead. Another mistake was making the cake strips too wide (8cm). This resulted in a higher, more narrow torte which was fine, but I was aiming for a wider, flatter torte. I have little experience with ganache and I definitely learned that it should be made and used immediately, not put aside to be reheated and applied to the torte the next day! All in all I was impressed and happy with the results.