Poland Polish Cookery

Chocolate Walnut Torte

Possibly my favorite recipe in Marja Ochorowicz-Monatowa’s entire book, Polish Cookery (or Uniwersalna Ksiazka Kucharska), this unassuming recipe humbly listed as “Unbaked Chocolate Torte” is a knock out in chocolate decadence.

It consists of three well defined layers: a crust made from butter, sugar and grated chocolate, a filling of sweetened ground walnuts, and finally topped with a whipped chocolate icing. However, what really elevates this dessert is the decoration. You will excuse my own obvious failings in cake decoration, however, if you are so inclined, you can really use this cake as a blank canvas to decorate it as elaborately as you dare with almonds, candied orange peel, and candied lemon peel. Personally, I prefer this recipe without almonds in favour of a smooth, uncluttered velvety mouth feel. On the other hand, the candied citrus peel is what catapults this recipe into that more refined complex arena that sets it apart from the pack. Make yourself a coffee, close your eyes and imagine yourself on the terrace of some quaint cafe in the bustling streets of Warsaw.

Ingredients

1 cup of unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar
1/2 lb bitter-sweet chocolate, grated
2 cups ground walnuts
4 tbsp heavy cream
Candied orange peel or candied lemon peel

For chocolate icing:

1/2 lb bitter-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 tsp of butter

Directions

  1. Cream together the butter, 1 cup of sugar, and grated chocolate. Press into the bottom of a layered cake pan and chill.
  2. Mix together ground walnuts, 1 cup of sugar. and heavy cream.
  3. Place walnut mixture on top chocolate crust. Once fully compact, remove the side of the cake pan and spread with chocolate icing and decorate with either almonds, candied orange peel or candied lemon peel as your preference.
  4. To make the icing: melt 1/2 lb bitter-sweet chocolate with the 1 1/2 tsp of butter then simmer with 1 cup of water until thickened.