Sometimes, at the end of certain special weeks, you and I need to simply make something over-the-top chocolatey and take a fork to it. Friends, I find myself at the end of such a week, and, in the chance that you find yourself at the end of one, too, this recipe's for you.
It's with all things rich and decadent chocolate in mind that we turn to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort's table service restaurant, The Turf Club Bar and Grill. While Turf Club is temporarily closed we will usher a bit of its Disney magic into our kitchens as we whip up and enjoy their classic Chocolate Torte recipe.
The Chocolate Torte recipe is found in Kitchen Magic with Mickey: Favorite Recipes from the Disney Parks and Cruise Ships. I picked up a used copy of the cookbook on Amazon, and it has a very broad range of recipes. I'm sure that everyone will find a few of their in-park or Disney Cruise Line favorites represented.
Our list of ingredients is mercifully short, however, I must tell you that, with this recipe, as in life, patience is a virtue. This decadent Saturday Snacks recipe must be made in steps, with the first step requiring us to allow the torte to hang out in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. Yes, eight hours. We will band together and get through this as a team, mmmkay? We can do it.
The first step is to preheat the oven to 300 degrees and allow 3/4 cup of butter to soften on the counter. Make sure that a rack is in the center of the oven, and, since boiling hot water is needed in a bit, I placed a tea kettle on the stove to boil. You'll also need to locate your roasting pan because we'll be filling it with water and submerging a springform pan in it.
Speaking of a springform pan, this little baby will be the most exotic of tools needed for this recipe. After she passed years ago, I adopted my husband's grandmother's springform pan. And, as you might guess, that springform pan is currently nowhere to be found. I fear that Saturday Snacks is fast becoming the Ode to All Lost Kitchen Items, but nonetheless, Nana's springform pan is gone.
Fast-forward to last Saturday morning when my mom-in-law texted me to let me know that a package had just been delivered to my door. My amazing mom-in-law, knowing my missing springform pan plight, surprised me by ordering me a brand-new springform pan. She is so, so kind.
Since we're going to end up placing the springform pan holding our precious chocolate torte into a roasting pan water bath, we need to try to get our springform pan as close to watertight as possible. What makes a springform pan unique is that the bottom of the pan fits into a ridge at the bottom of the ring that forms the sides of the pan. The side of the pan is hinged, thus allowing the bottom to fall away from the sides when everything's said and done. If we don't seal up the sides of the pan, water will seep into our torte, and we'll end up with a water-logged chocolate sponge. Eww.
The recipe asks us to first wrap the pan in plastic wrap and then heavy duty foil. I missed the "heavy duty" part of the description when checking the supply list, and knew that since I didn't have a roll of that oversized heavy duty foil, I'd have to do a couple of layers of regular foil and pray that it works to keep the water out of my snack.
I started by wrapping the bottom in plastic wrap and then I wrapped the sides in an overlapping fashion so that the wrap had something to cling to. I followed up with two layers of foil. The recipe tells us to carry the wrap and foil up the sides of the pan, and I tried my best to do just that.
Our next step is to give the inside of the pan a generous coating of butter and then coat it with granulated sugar. Toss a quarter cup or so of sugar into that pan and roll it around (preferably over the sink if you're messy like me), and allow that sweet sugar to encrust the entire thing. And try not to lick the pan. Ahem.
We'll next need a small saucepan for our next step as we make espresso syrup for the torte. Read that again: espresso syrup. Yummm. For the needed espresso, I grabbed my ever-faithful, ever-present jar of instant espresso and whipped up a cup.
Place 3/4 cup of granulated sugar into the saucepan along with half of a cup of brewed espresso.
Let the two get nice and toasty over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, and then pull the pan off of the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
While the espresso syrup is cooling, grab another small saucepan out of the cabinet, fill it halfway with water, and place a small-ish glass bowl on top. We're going to create a double boiler to melt the chocolate as we've done in weeks past. It's a simple and very gentle way to melt chocolate, and any technique that ends without scalded chocolate is a good one in my book.
Let the water in the pan come to a simmering boil, and place 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate in the glass bowl on top of the pot of simmering water. The recipe calls for us to finely chop the chocolate, but it's Saturday and you and I don't need any extra work to do this weekend, thankyouverymuch. Toss those chocolate squares into the glass bowl as is. It might take a couple of extra minutes, but they'll melt just fine.
Cut the softened 3/4 cup of butter into tablespoons, and, once the chocolate has melted, toss the butter in by the tablespoonful and stir to combine. And stand there and marvel at what you're working with: a ton of chocolate and a ton of butter. Yes, I'd say that the weekend's off to a good start.
Once the butter's melted and combined with the chocolate, add in 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the espresso syrup, and pull the glass bowl off of the saucepan to cool for 4 to 5 minutes. After the time is up, add in the five beaten eggs and stir them gently to incorporate. And don't do as I did and forget to beat the eggs before you toss them into the chocolate mixture and then frantically fish them back out to beat them after you realized what you've done. Goodness. Gracious.
Once the beaten eggs are worked into the chocolate mixture, pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the pan into the roasting pan and pour boiling hot water into the roasting pan, being careful to not get any H2O into the springform pan. If your batter-filled pan is like mine, your pan will begin floating on the water well before you're able to fill the water to 3/4 of the way up the side of it. I just poured a bit more in and declared it good enough.
Place the whole roasting pan/springform pan combo into the oven, and give it a good 45 to 50 minutes or until the center of the torte is just about set.
Once the torte is ready to emerge from the oven, pull it out and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. I also ended up unwrapping the outside of the pan at this point. While unwrapping the springform pan, a bit of water came out of the pan, and I feared that I'd have a soggy torte on my hands. But I wouldn't know until the next day, because, once the torte has completely cooled, we need leave it in the springform pan, cover it with foil, and leave it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Goodnight, sweet torte. May you not be soggy on the 'morrow.
After a minimum of 8 hours have passed, it's time to get the party rolling again by making the chocolate ganache for the top of the torte. You'll need to grab another saucepan out of the cabinet (so sorry for the dishes that'll need to be washed), and fill it halfway with water. Get that water to a simmering boil, and top it with a glass bowl. And, yep, you guessed it: toss in the remaining 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate. Stir it as it melts, and once it has melted, pull it off of the heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
After those few minutes, toss in the remaining half of a cup of butter and stir until the chocolate mixture is the beautiful, glossy ganache that it's meant to be.
It's now time for the moment of truth, and we need to move quickly 'cause warm ganache waits for no one. I pulled my torte out of the fridge and slid a knife around the edge to help loosen it a bit from the ring. I popped open the ring on the outside of the springform pan, and the most lovely thing happened: my torte looked like it should. I was afraid that it had taken on water during the baking process, but my fears were *thankfully* unfounded.
I left the torte on the base of the springform pan (no need to tempt fate by trying to move it off of the base), and poured the warm ganache onto the top, allowing the chocolatey goodness to drip over the sides.
The recipe for the ganache makes the perfect amount to cover the torte with a thick coating. After getting everything nice and covered, I sat the torte -springform pan base and all - onto a baking pan and placed it in the fridge to set for two additional hours. I was so hoping that my patience would pay off in the end.
After two hours, the ganache had set completely and had taken on more of a matte finish. I carefully lifted the torte off of the baking pan and placed it (still on the springform pan base) onto a plate.
The moment of truth came when I sunk my cake cutter into the torte. Would it be everything that I'd hoped it would be? Short answer? Yes. And then some.
Friends, the most rich and decadent slice of chocolate torte lifted off of that plate. The recipe recommends that the torte be served with vanilla ice cream, so you had better believe that I had my carton of Breyer's and ice cream scoop ready to go.
If you're looking for a chocolate snack/dessert/breakfast this weekend, look no further. It's the one you've been dreaming of. The torte is dense and I likened it to eating fudge, except it's even better than that. It's not a cake-like consistency; it is it's own unique, flavorful, rich treat. And, as I sit here and write these words, it's 8:37am and I've already had a little slice this morning. That's adulting at its finest, my friends.
While The Turf Club Bar and Grill might be currently closed, we can appreciate and re-create one of its' classic recipes for the glorious delight that it is. Turf Club and your cast members: we raise a slice in your honor. Thank you for making this Saturday a bit sweeter.
I hope that this weekend is a lovely one. No matter what your week held - the good, the bad, and the ugly - may you and I stop and smell a rose or two. And, of course, may we also eat a bite or two or twenty-three of something yummy along the way.
Thank you so very much for stopping by and reading. Take good care.
p.s. I filmed a Saturday Snacks vlog of me making Food & Wine Festival's Pão de queijo that aired last week. If you're like to virtually join me in my kitchen via video and make some yummy bread and cheese goodness, the video is below. 🙂
Ready to invite the most rich, chocolatey treat in town to the party? The recipe for Turf Club's Chocolate Torte is below:
Chocolate Torte (makes one 9-inch torte)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened, plus additional soften butter for greasing pan
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus additional sugar for dusting pan
- 1/2 cup prepared espresso
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 300° with oven rack in middle position. Rack outside of a 9 inch spring form pan and plastic wrap then wrapped tightly with a layer of heavy duty foil. Generously butter inside of pan. Dust pan with sugar, tapping out access. Place prepared pan in roasting pan; set aside.
- Combine sugar and espresso in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Place chocolate in a large bowl set over a large sauce pan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Stir occasionally until just melted. Add butter by the tablespoonful, stirring until combined. Stir in espresso syrup and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in eggs until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Pour boiling-hot water into roasting pan until it reaches three-quarters up the side of the springform pan. Bake until center of torte is almost set, but still wobbles just slightly, 45-50 minutes.
- Transfer torte to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
- Place chocolate in a medium bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Stir occasionally until melted.
- Set aside to cool slightly, 3-4 minutes. Add butter by the tablespoonful, stirring until combined and glossy. Use immediately.
- Run a thin knife along the inside of the springform pan, and remove pan ring.
- Place torte on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Pour ganache over torte, a bit at a time, spreading with a rubber or offset spatula to cover top. Allow excess to drip down, if desired.
- Place torte on a platter or sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.