I’m a relative newcomer to the flavor combination of chocolate and orange, but I would consider it to be my all-time favorite. There’s just something about the richness of the chocolate in combination with the zing of the orange that makes me want more every time I have it. When I saw that the Burgtheatertorte in Kaffeehaus highlighted these favorite flavors, I moved it up in the queue to have it sooner rather than later.
The best part about this torte? It’s not sickly sweet so you don’t feel nauseated after just a thin slice. If I have one complaint about American desserts, it’s that they’re sometimes over the top with the sugar and sweetness so that one bite is usually enough. I appreciate the subtle sweetness of European-style desserts because I don’t need sensory overload every time I treat myself to dessert. A touch of cinnamon adds to this torte’s European sensibility. I don’t usually like cinnamon and chocolate together, but I thought it brought a gingerbread-like flavor to the torte. Another revelation as I bake my way through this book!
A large percentage of the bulk of this torte is cake crumbs, traditionally saved from trimmings from other cakes made throughout the day in a typical Viennese bakery. If you don’t have the four cups of cake crumbs called for in this recipe, do like I did and make a separate chocolate sponge cake strictly for the purpose of turning it into crumbs. Save the remainder sealed in a freezer bag in your freezer for future use.
- 9 oz sliced almonds or almond flour
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbs cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups (14 oz) chocolate cake crumbs
- 1/2 cups diced candied orange peel
- 1/3 cup red currant jelly (I used boysenberry in the photos here – still good, but the BR household was unanimous in the use of red currant jelly)
- confectioners’ sugar, got garnish
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment. Dust the sides of the pan with flour.
- In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the almonds, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa until the almonds are very finely ground.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter with a hand-held mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add remaining 1 3/4 confectioners’ sugar. When combined, beat on high speed until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Very slowly, beat in the eggs, then the cinnamon. Stir in the almond mixture, then the cake crumbs, then the orange peel. Spread evenly in the pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the torte comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes and remove the outer springform ring. Invert onto another rack and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment. Turn back upright and cool completely.
- Slice cake in half horizontally with a long serrated knife. Spread jelly over bottom layer and replace top layer. Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar. Using a paring knife, draw a crosshatch pattern in the sugar. Let stand at room temperature for one hour before serving.
I think that this will be a go-to on a regular basis after this project is over – it’s that good!