Dark Chocolate Espresso Torte with Strawberry Coulis 

photo courtesy of Adam Berliner and Loko Cuisine at Coppertail Brewing

For most, there are certain foods that naturally go-together…bacon & eggs, strawberries & champagne, burgers & fries. But, for me, it gets a bit more dark…as in DARK chocolate and rich DARK espresso.  I absolutely love the stuff!  Dark chocolate & a glass bottle of Cabernet…espresso & dark chocolate dipped biscotti…dark chocolate & a rich stout..dark chocolate rimmed cup of espresso…oohhhh…the list could go on and on.

As I bake, I have to constantly force myself out of my dark chocolate, coffee, and caramel mode.  For whatever reason, every new idea ALWAYS has dark chocolate, coffee,and caramel. I love that combination. No, I’m obsessed with that combination of sweet chocolate, salty caramel, and nutty, smokey coffee. Ahhhh…it’s absolutely heavenly.

When I was asked to create a special dessert for a Valentine’s dinner at a local brewery, I knew exactly which direction to take…dark chocolate and coffee…and to make it even more decadent, I knew we had to add strawberries.  I mean, seriously!?!?! It’s Valentine’s Day.  It’s date night. This dessert had to be luxurious, decadent, romantic, addictive.

The result was even better than I imagined and our guests… Well, let’s just say there were some very happy couples.  The half-closed eyes, the slow savoring swallows, the muffled moans of approval. Yes, we had a hit! (Which is why I took this same dessert to MasterChef auditions in April)

Dark Chocolate Espresso Torte with Strawberry Coulis

Torte Ingredients

1/3 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1 stick butter, cubed

1-12 oz bag bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)

1 tsp instant coffee/espresso powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c. cold strong coffee

1 tsp almond extract

6 large eggs

Ganache Ingredients

1/2 c. heavy cream

3/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)

Strawberry Coulis

1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries

1 TBSP lime or lemon juice (I use key lime)

1/2 c. sugar

1 TBSP tapioca or cornstarch (just to thicken it)

Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat.  Remove from heat.  Add butter, chocolate chips, instant coffee, and salt. Let sit for 2 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Whisk in cold coffee and almond extract.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until completely combined.   Whisk in chocolate mixture.  Pour batter into a 9 x 2″ round cake pan that has its bottom lined with parchment and totally sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Place cake pan in a large roasting pan.  Fill the roasting pan half way with warm water.  Bake torte in the roasting pan at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until solid and slightly puffed.  Remove pan from water and allow to cool for an hour.

Remove torte from pan. Invert onto cake plate and remove parchment paper.  Cool completely before serving.

Before serving, make ganache. Heat cream in microwave until boiling–1-2 minutes. Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes to melt. Stir until smooth.  Spread ganache over top of torte and let it drip down the sides.  Top with sliced almond.

In a small sauce pan, combine strawberries, lime juice, sugar, and tapioca.  Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent burning until thick.  Pour into a blender or food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and chill.

To serve, squeeze strawberry coulis on plate, place torte slice on top, and a strawberry for garnish.

Check out these other coffee recipes to complete your own coffee themed meal!

Shelby Law Ruttan






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