Sunday, June 11, 2017

Celebrating Birthdays with a Twice Chocolate Torte!

In June 2015, I posted this picture celebrating our Operations Manager's as well as our son's birthday:
This morning he messaged me for the recipe of the Twice Chocolate Torte, our family's favorite birthday cake. Seriously, every May, we celebrate three birthdays in the family so I have been in a habit of making three Twice Chocolate Tortes during May for decades! This year, we invited family plus a few over for President's birthday and although the kids are no longer home, still made three!
Best part about this cake: the recipe is SUPER easy! 

Bake a devil's food cake in two rounds. I use 1-1/2 boxes of Duncan Hines for two 10-inch rounds (the biggest of the three cakes above). 

Tip #1: The secret to getting any cake or sweet bread loaf not to stick to the bottom of the pan is to line the bottom with wax paper and spray the sides with cooking spray. Loosen the sides and it will literally fall out!

Tip #2: Unless you have a really professional oven or bake cake layers one at at time in the center of the oven, cake rounds most always end up bulging in the middle and lop sided:( To avoid the big bulge in the middle, bake at 325F for 5-10 minutes longer instead of 350F. This will prevent the sides from browning too early and pushing the center up! 

Tip #3: Always test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle. Return to the oven until the toothpick comes out clean! This will forever prevent cakes from caving in the center upon cooling!

Cool completely, and refrigerate if you have time. Layers may be baked in advance, cooled, wrapped in saran wrap and then refrigerated or frozen before use (just thaw completely when ready to use). Split the layers in half with a bread knife to make four rounds. 

Tip #4: Insert a toothpick to mark the top layer and another to mark the bottom layer so you can put them back together in the right place. 

Beat heavy whipping cream until stiff. I use at least 1 pint (2 cups) for a 10" round cake; more is better! Be careful not to over whip and cause the cream to separate into butter. Add cold (refrigerated) Hershey's chocolate syrup to whipped cream and continue beating until chocolaty. 

Turn one round of the cake upside down onto a serving platter or plate. Remove top split layer. Spread with 1/4 of the chocolate whipped cream. Replace second layer, lining up toothpicks (bottom of cake will be faced up, remember to remove toothpicks). Spread with another 1/4 of the chocolate whipped cream. 

Place second round on top, faced up so bottoms are together. 

Tip #5: If both rounds are a little lop sided, position the second round on top of the bottom round so they will offset each other, with the end result being a evenly leveled cake.

Remove top layer of top round. Spread with another 1/4 of the chocolate whipped cream. Replace top layer, again lining up toothpicks. Spread with remaining chocolate whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Best if refrigerated at least one hour!

When President was serving in the Taipei mission in his youth, his mother actually sent him the ingredients for his birthday so he could bake his own Twice Chocolate Torte in Taiwan! Back then, she used Dream Whip (powdered whipped cream) and Hershey's fudge topping. However, when he got the birthday package, he realized she had sent a brownie mix instead:( Not wanting her to be saddened or disappointed, he never told her! What a sweet and loving son! 

I've since tweaked the recipe, which was a good thing because I don't think you can even find Dream Whip in the markets anymore!


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