Double Chocolate Torte

So there’s this girl I met when I got my first real-life job. We wrote about polar bears and Canadian trains. The first thing she ever told me was that she liked my cardigan. I told her it was from Costco. Later, she helped me discover that polar bears are, in fact, the Lords of the Arctic, and we have collectively managed to turn our office environment into a zoo. She has been a source of fashion advice, life advice and has always been able to supply a swath of deodorant when I’m in need.

She has been a source of sanity and insanity. She’s the best diary.

And it’s her birthday.

So there’s this cake I make. I only make it once in a blue moon. So far, I’ve only made it four times.

Now make that five.

And believe me when I say this cake should probably be called a chocogasm. This cake is so good you have to sit down when you eat it. You have to close your eyes. You have to kind of moan. You have say something along the lines of, “Are you kidding me?” or “Not. Even. Real.” or “Shut up.”

And I would make this cake every darned day because this lady deserves the best of everything – all the time.

So happy birthday, ya goob.

Oh, hi, chocolate. I’m gonna melt you with butter, and you’re gonna like it.

So wait, why is this cake the best thing in the world? The first time I ever had one was at my high school friend’s graduation party. She had a crazy dessert spread. A handful of us grabbed a slice of this stuff and didn’t know what we were getting into. We felt high. We felt like we just had the best sex of our lives.

Yeah. It was that good.

A smidgen of flour just to give this glorified chocolate bar of a cake some body.

Chocolate plate tectonics.

There’s nothing quite like a bowl full of stiff white peaks to make chocolate mousse a fluffy monster.

It’s whipping time.

New Zealand kiwis to add some color to the densest, most incredible cake you may ever bake.

Eat responsibly. Wear protection.

Double Chocolate Torte, aka The Chocogasm.

For the cake: 
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour

For the mousse:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon sugar

Optional: Kiwi fruit for garnish

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 and grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter. Dust with sugar and set aside.

In a double broiler, or using a metal bowl set on top of a pot with about one inch of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter until no chunks remain. Let cool to a lukewarm temperature before whisking in the sugar until fully incorporated. Then add one egg at a time, being sure to whisk completely before adding another. Stir in vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until the batter is smooth.

Pour into the springform pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the middle raises slightly. A toothpick will not come out clean. It’s okay. It’s going to be dense and gooey. Oh my god yum.

Let the cake cool completely before topping with the mousse.

For the mousse:
While the cake is baking and cooling, it’s time to make the mousse. In the same double broiler apparatus, melt just the butter until it’s liquid. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 heavy whipping cream, egg yolks and vanilla until just mixed. Slowly add the egg mixture into the butter and whisk continuously over simmering water for about five minutes. It will look a little separated. Once you’ve heated up the cream, add the chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Add about 1/4 of the mixture in with the chocolate. Add the rest of the egg white mixture in quarters, folding gently so as not to lose the air bubbles (Never whack your spatula against the edge of the bowl to get all of the merengue in – this will kill precious air bubbles!). Once you’ve got everything mixed, slowly pour the mousse on top of the cake and cover. Let it cool in the fridge for at least six hours or up to 24 hours before serving.

Just before serving, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup whipping cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Remove the cake from the springform pan, using a thin knife to separate the mousse from the edge. Top with whipped cream and a fruit garnish.

Serve. Demolish. Celebrate.

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