dark chocolate black forest torte

Posted by on Feb 27, 2012 in tasteovers by jackie | 2 comments

dark chocolate black forest torte

Makes 16 servings: 1 slice each

My friend Mo sent me an overly decadent recipe to makeover for her husband’s birthday. Of course, she gives me a dessert recipe that seems quite intimidating. (I’m definitely a cook, not a baker!) But going outside my comfort zone often results in very good things. So baker or no baker, do give this inspired torte a try, too.

Black Forest cake is named after Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser), a liquor distilled from tart cherries, that has origins in the Black Forest mountain range of southwestern Germany. It’s the most distinctive ingredient in the traditional cake. However, there were no cherries to be found in the “before” recipe; so I added in some cherry goodness … in two ways. Kirsch is in the cake and dark chocolate covered cherries adorn the top. I also went a bit worldlier here by celebrating Greek yogurt in every part of the recipe to provide creaminess—no heavy cream required. If you love the taste of Greek yogurt, you’ll surely appreciate the tangy flair it brings to this torte.

But do remember, it’s still dessert. One chocolaty slice … very nice!

Calories Saved: 140

1/3 cup unsalted organic butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar or turbinado sugar
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt*
2 tablespoons Kirsch(wasser) or cherry liqueur
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon pure chocolate extract (optional)
3 large organic eggs

Chocolate Filling:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 ounces German sweet chocolate or milk chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted organic butter
2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt*

Cream Filling/Topping:
2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt*
1/4 cup organic confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish
16 dark chocolate covered cherries (use fresh cherries when seasonal)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two lightly greased 9-inch round baking pans with unbleached waxed paper, set aside. In a heavy saucepan or microwave, gently melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the chocolate mixture, 1 1/4 cups water, yogurt, Kirsch, and extracts. Beat on low speed for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (or overnight).
  5. For the chocolate filling, gently melt the chocolates and butter in a heavy saucepan or microwave; stir until smooth. Stir in the yogurt. Chill while watching closely just until desired (thin) spreading consistency. (Note: Heat in the microwave for a few seconds if mixture becomes too thick and/or stir in milk or plant-based “milk” by the 1/2 teaspoon.)
  6. For the cream filling/topping, stir together the yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Chill. (Note: If you prefer a sweet rather than tangy taste for the topping and filling, make a meringue instead.)
  7. Split each cake into two horizontal layers. Place one layer on a serving plate; cover with half of the chocolate filling. Top with a second cake layer; spread on half of the cream filling. Repeat layers. Store in the refrigerator. Garnish with dark chocolate-covered cherries just before serving.

Per serving: 370 calories, 17g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 55mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 51g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 39g sugars, 8g protein

*Free of synthetic growth hormones: No rBST-treated milk.

The “Before” Recipe

black forest torte

Submitted by Maureen H (Scottsdale, AZ)

(recipe adapted and sourced from Taste of Home; originally published in Country Extra September 1993, p49.)

Makes 16 servings

2/3 cup salted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Chocolate Filling:
2 bars (4 ounces each) German sweet chocolate
3/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream Filling:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line two greased 9-inch round baking pans with waxed paper, set aside. In a heavy saucepan or microwave, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate; stir until smooth and cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the chocolate mixture, 1 1/4 cups water, and the vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 1 minute; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. For the chocolate filling, melt 1 1/2 bars of the German chocolate in a heavy saucepan or microwave; stir until smooth. Stir in the butter and nuts. Watching closely, cool filling just until it reaches spreading consistency.
  6. For the cream filling, beat the cream in a chilled large bowl until it begins to thicken. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat until stiff peaks form.
  7. Split each cake into two horizontal layers. Place one layer on a serving plate; cover with half of the chocolate filling. Top with a second cake layer; spread on half of the cream filling. Repeat layers. Grate remaining German chocolate; sprinkle on the top. Store in the refrigerator. 

Per serving: 510 calories, 38g total fat, 22g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 120mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 30g sugars, 5g protein

 

Tasteover Tips

  • Boost the depth of flavor and nutritional value by including whole grains. Use whole-wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Go for a less processed sugar. Try coconut palm sugar or turbinado sugar in place of granulated white sugar. It creates more taste interest with a slight molasses-like flavor. You can use a little less without missing the sweetness, too.
  • Create creaminess and richness without excess saturated fat by using a combination of unsalted butter and fat-free plain Greek yogurt. It’s a little tangier.
  • When decreasing fat or sugar in a recipe, consider adding or upping the pure flavor extracts, like almond, vanilla, and chocolate.
  • For a creamy filling, play with Greek yogurt as a base instead of artery-clogging heavy cream.
  • Don’t forget the flair. Dark chocolate covered cherries on top do just that in this recipe.

 

2 Comments

  1. Wow, this sounds fabulous and I agree cherries were needed!! I cannot possibly wait until Scott’s birthday in December – I will have to make this when Scott’s parents are in town in a few weeks. I’ll let you know how it turns out. You are the best – thank you Jackie!!!!
    xoxo, Mo

    • Mo, I can’t wait to hear what you think. And actually, I’m going to try another version the next time I make this … and turn it into an ice cream cake, using frozen dessert/yogurt in place of the cream filling. You’ve inspired me! XO

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