chocolate pastry torte

by Amy on 4 January 2011

one of the best things about being part of my honey’s family (aside from suddenly having an extended family twice as big as i used to have) is that i am able to sample their time-tested favorite recipes. this layered chocolate pastry torte is definitely a family favorite, + makes appearances at holiday dinners, celebrations, + birthdays. honey’s dad has also been known to enjoy it for breakfast every now + then (+ let’s be honest – we’ve all done it!)

the recipe originally came from an issue of southern living from many years ago, although it was cut out of the magazine, so i’m not sure of the exact date. it has that lovely time-tested look, slightly crumpled at the edges with a little chocolate spattered on it here + there. ┬áby looking at the recipe, you can tell that it has seen lots of years + celebrations, + i have a feeling that we’ll be serving this delicious torte for many years to come!

chocolate pastry torte

makes 9-12 servings, adapted from southern living


2 four-ounce packages of cooking chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 box (11 ounces) pie crust mix
2 cups whipping cream
chopped nuts or chocolate curls to garnish (optional)


combine chocolate, sugar, water + coffee in a saucepan. cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. blend in vanilla + allow to cool to room temperature.

put piecrust mix into a mixing bowl. blend 3/4 cup of the chocolate sauce into the mix. divide this pastry into 6 equal parts. press each part onto the bottom on an inversted 8-inch round pan to within 1/2” of the edge. bake at 425 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

while the layers are still warm, trim to even the edges if desired. let cool, then run the tip of a knife under the edges to loosen. lift carefully + transfer to a cooling rack.

whip cream to a soft peak stage. fold in remaining chocolate sauce. spread the chocolate cream between layers + over the top. top with chopped nuts or chocolate curls if desired.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bek davis January 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

looks awesome! my kids would love this.

2 amy January 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

bek, one of the great things about this torte is that it is both kid-friendly + impresses adults, too. the flavors aren’t so rich that they overwhelm little ones (like my bete noire cake would do), but they’re still interesting enough to be appealing to adults. you should definitely try it!

3 Mollie January 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

looks super yummy!

4 amy January 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

it is, it is! you should give it a try – it’s a little time-consuming with the baking of the layers, but the actual prep + assembling of the torte is … a piece of cake. HA!

5 Sheri O'Neill January 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

Oh man! Be still my chocolate loving heart! One question for you, what would be a good substitute for the coffee in this?

6 amy January 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

instant coffee is used in baking to add a little depth + enhance the flavors (especially in chocolatey recipes) – i’m always baffled because it is *so* not good as coffee, but it is great in baking! you can usually omit it entirely without affecting the recipe, but there are a few substitutions for it. do you have an allergy? or just don’t like the taste? let me know + i’ll come up with a great substitution for you. =)

7 Sheri O'Neill January 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I personally love coffee but my stepmother is allergic. Any substitution suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

8 amy January 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

you can substitute espresso powder if she isn’t allergic to that. if she is, you can just omit it entirely – it shouldn’t affect the recipe at all without it.

9 Scott January 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Now you are toying with my emotions. Chocolate, coffee, nuts…if I could only right click and save as – ready to eat. We will have to try this one out asap.

10 amy January 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

you’ll have to let me know what you think of it! i have to agree that the ingredient list is (conveniently) basically a list of my favorite things. enjoy!

11 Living the Balanced Life January 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I knew I should NOT have clicked on this link! I am supposed to be on a diet! If I were to bake that thing, I would EAT the whole thing, save a piece or 2 I might share wigh hubby or kids! I may have to wait and bake when I need to take a cake somewhere!

12 amy January 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

ha, you are too funny! if you’re on a diet, then yes, definitely save it for when you have to take it to someone else’s house – otherwise it will call out to you at all hours, begging to be eaten. =)

13 Joran Thompson March 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Hey Amy,
Just wondering if you ever did a piece on Adult Chocolate Milk! If so, and if you plan to in the future, would love to be looped in to see it!


14 amy March 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

hi Joran! i haven’t yet but it’s on my to-write list. so many blog posts, so little time! =) look for it in the next month or so – i’ll email you, too, once it’s up.

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