Chocolate Cake… Chocolate Torte… Both can look the same even though a cake is usually thicker than a torte. It is not until you take your first bite that you can say, “that’s a cake!” or “that’s a torte!”.
What’s the difference between the two? Usually, a cake has more flour than a torte. That makes the torte more rich, moist, tasty, and delicate.
We don’t use a lot of flour or sugar in our French desserts, but we can be heavy on the butter, eggs, and cream. Don’t let this bother you. If you are going to fix a French dessert, you cannot compromise. It has to be right. It has to be French!
When I present a recipe, I always like to talk about some of its ingredients. I always feel that it is a huge plus, and it helps us understand and appreciate the dish or the dessert better. If you are familiar with my VoilaByCoco YouTube channel, you probably know this habit of mine. I believe that each video gives you a history of the dish and the history of one or two of its ingredients.
Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, a Meso-American plant. The Aztecs in Central Mexico would shred or grind the cocoa bean, stir it in water, add some vanilla, some spices and would thicken this beverage with maize corn flour.
As for the Maya civilization, they consumed the cocoa bean, but also, they used it as a currency.
Centuries later, when the first explorers discovered Central America, they brought back the cocoa bean to Europe. By then, sugar cane already had been brought to Europe the other way – from Polynesia to India to Persia, and to Europe. And because the Europeans thought that the coco bean was bitter, they added a little bit of sugar to make it more palatable. Of course, both sugar AND the cocoa bean were very expensive, so the combination of both made it very precious.
To go back to the chocolate torte, I like this recipe a lot. It is classy and classic. I like to serve it with a “Crème Anglaise” –
The combination of the rich chocolate and the thin, smooth, delicate Crème Anglaise makes it uniquely French, and sensually delicious. Did I convince you?
Video and Recipe Card for the Chocolate Torte: https://www.voilabycoco.com/chocolate-torte
Video and Recipe Card for the Crème Anglaise: