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Chocolate Date Torte

Chocolate Date Torte
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
7 oz plain chocolate
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped (scant cup)
1-1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creme fraiche (scant cup)
1 cup mascarpone (scant cup)
Few drops of vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a round 8-inch springform cake pan. Line the base of the pan with baking parchment.

To make the frosting, combine the creme fraiche and mascarpone, add a few drops of vanilla extract and sugar to taste, then set aside.

Torte: Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until they form stiff peaks. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy, then fold in the remainder.

Chop 6 oz of the chocolate, then carefully fold into the meringue with the dates, nuts and vanilla extract. Pour into the prepared pan, spread level and bake for about 45 minutes, until risen around the edges.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave until completely cool.

Swirl the frosting over the top of the torte. Melt the remaining chocolate. Use a small paper piping bag to drizzle the chocolate over the torte. Work quickly and keep an even pressure on the piping bag. Chill the torte before serving, then cut into wedges. This torte is best eaten on the day it is made.

Serves 8. From The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate - the ultimate baking cookbook for chocoholics!

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