Heathar's Chocolate Torte Recipe
I’ve been making this chocolate torte recipe for about a decade now. I make it for special occasions, menses inspired chocolate cravings and for the farm team when they’re craving something sweet and wholesome.
Last weekend, we hosted our first farm to table dinner at our farm, Ojo Conejo.
The dinner was actually a Farm to Taco dinner as it was a full on traditional Mexican food themed event. The menu included hickory smoked pork tacos, avocado margaritas and, for dessert, chocolate torte. Of course, I made heaps of homemade corn chips using nixtamalized masa fried in bacon fat.
Everyone asks me the secret to my corn chips. It’s bacon fat.
Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines. Mexico also produces some of the world’s most tasty chocolate. Mexico’s chocolate literally ruined me. Let me explain…
A few years ago, my wife and I spent several months in Mexico. And, of course, there was cacao everywhere! All it took was one bite of an authentic chocolate bar, made from the region’s local, organic cacao beans, for me to swear off ever buying the crap chocolate bars in Whole Foods or even the food Coop’s back in the States.
Since I’m such a huge chocolate lover, I couldn’t go without quality chocolate once I returned home. So, while in Mexico, I befriended a cacao farmer willing to ship me his organic, sun toasted cacao beans.
Today, I still WhatsApp Horacio asking him to please ship me some of his cacao beans and I use his beans to make everything from homemade chocolate bars (we now have our own chocolate bar brand, Ojo Conejo Chocolate, thanks to Horacio!), red chile hot chocolate and chocolate sauce to chocolate mousse and, of course, the infamous chocolate torte.
I love my chocolate torte recipe because it’s freaking delicious, of course. But it’s also made with minimal ingredients and ticks the boxes for much of the food sensitivity crew. It’s gluten free, dairy free (is butter really dairy?!?), soy free (who the F eats soy anymore?!?), grain free and nut free.
I will say a little bit of this torte goes a long way. Maybe it’s the 11 ounces of cacao or the 1 stick of butter or the 4 large eggs or just the combination of all of those richly nourishing foods. But, when you cut into this torte, know that a little bit goes a long way.
I’m going to bargain that this torte will be one of the best you’ve ever had. However, this is a recipe where you cannot just improvise or substitute ingredients if you want it to turn out amazingly.
For example, the key to a deeply rich and delicious chocolate torte isn’t achieved by using cacao powder.
Most chocolate torte recipes call for cacao powder and this simply doesn’t cut it nor does it do your tastebuds any justice because unlike cacao beans, cacao powder has all of its fat solids removed. When you remove fat from a food, or from your diet, you essentially remove flavor as well as a host of hormone and metabolic supportive fat soluble nutrients.
So, you want to use real, unprocessed cacao mass when making your torte.
I make my chocolate torte by grinding cacao beans for 48 hours turning the beans quite literally from solid bean to liquid chocolate.
Of course, I don’t expect you all to do that.
You can make this recipe at home simply by buying a few of the highest quality 75-80% chocolate bars you can find.
Or, by buying a big chocolate mass chunk.
But, keep in mind, that you’ll need bars or cacao mass with 75-80% cacao content. Meaning, you cannot simply buy a 100% cacao mass and expect the same delicious results from this recipe. This will result in a super bitter torte.
I want to give you a few additional tips to help prepare you for a successful and freaking delicious chocolate torte…
1. Double Boiler for the Win.
You absolutely will need a double boiler to melt the chocolate, butter and honey. Don’t skip this step by thinking you can melt your chocolate bars or mass in a sauce pan. You cannot. You cannot because chocolate has a very low smoke point. While it does contain healthy fats, it doesn’t contain cholesterol because it comes from a plant, not an animal. Animal foods are the only foods that contain cholesterol. Cholesterol allows for higher heating temperatures and higher smoke points. Since chocolate is a naturally cholesterol-free food, it has a lower smoke point and will burn VERY quickly if you heat it up in a sauce pan vs a double boiler. So, get yourself a double boiler if you don’t already have one. Believe me, you’ll use it time-and-time again for this recipe alone.
2. DON’T STOP STIRRING the Chocolate.
A few seconds of pause, fine. But don’t go send a text or check you IG handle. Stay focused. And, make sure you turn off the burner after the chocolate and butter have melted and the honey is well incorporated.
3. Don’t be the One to Scramble the Eggs.
You don’t want the eggs to scramble, so remove the sauce pan from the burner when you start adding the eggs. Before adding the eggs, dip your finger in the chocolate to make sure it doesn’t burn your finger. If it does, wait a few minutes before adding the eggs. Add the eggs one-by-one. And, make sure each one is incorporated before you add the next. After you add the first 2-3 eggs, the mixture will look weird. You’ll think you F-ed the whole thing up. You haven’t. Just keep stirring and keep adding the eggs, one-by-one.
4. Say it with me, Water Bath.
You absolutely need a water bath to make your torte. As you’re making your torte, make sure to fill a Pyrex baking dish about 3/4th of the way full with water and place on the middle rack in your oven. You want the water bath to be warm before adding the torte. This also allows the torte to steam cook preventing it from burning and keeping your torte nice and moist.
Have fun making your torte and don’t forget to tag me in your torte making pictures!
Heathar's Chocolate Torte Recipe
11 ounces 75-80% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw honey
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting pie pan
- Preheat your oven to 275°F. Fill a Pyrex baking dish, big enough to fit your pie pan inside (mine touches the edges and the middle touches the water - this will work wonderfully! Your pie pan doesn't have to be fully submerged), 3/4 of the way full with water and set on the middle rack of your oven.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler on medium heat. Stir constantly. When the chocolate and butter have melted, turn off the heat and add the honey.
- When the honey is fully incorporated, add sea salt, water, vanilla extract and stir well.
- Remove from the burner and add your eggs one-by-one. If you only have small eggs, add 1-2 extra to make up the difference.
- Grease a pie dish or a 9-inch cake pan with butter and sprinkle the cocoa powder on top. This prevents the torte from sticking to the bottom of your pan.
- Place the pan in the water bath - the water should come about half way up the sides of the pie dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for an hour. The torte tastes best when refrigerated overnight but can be eaten once it's cooled for the impatient crowd, like myself.