Bonnie Stern’s California Chocolate Pecan Torte

Yes, there are only 2 Tablespoons of flour in this. It is about as good as it gets. Be careful not to overcook the white chocolate or it becomes unmanagable.

You’ll Need:

6 oz/ 175 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

¾ c/ 175 ml unsalted butter, cut in pieces

¾ c/ 175 ml sugar, divided

4 eggs, separated

1 c/ 250 ml ground toasted pecans

2 tbsp/25 ml all-purpose flour

¼ tsp/1 ml cream of tartar


8 oz/250g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

½ c/ 125 ml whipping cream

2 oz/60 g white chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.  Butter a deep 9”/ 23 cm round cake pan or springform pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.  Butter lightly again.
  2. To make cake, melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl over gently simmering water.
  3. In a large bowl, beat ½ c/125ml sugar with egg yolks until light.
  4. Stir in warm chocolate/butter mixture.  Mix in pecans and flour.
  5. In separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until mounds begin to form.  Slowly beat in remaining ¼ c/50 ml sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry.
  6. Stir one-third of egg whites into chocolate base to lighten it.  Fold in remaining whites lightly.  Spoon mixture gently into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out moist but not runny.
  8. Cool cake in pan.  Cake will be puffy and then fall, but don’t worry.
  9. For the glaze, place bittersweet chocolate and whipping cream in a bowl over simmering water. Heat until melted and smooth.  Allow to cool slightly.  It should still be pourable.
  10. When cake is cool, gently push edges down so the top is flat.  Turn cake out onto a serving platter that has a slight lip and leave an 2“/5 cm border around the cake.  The top of the cake has now become the bottom.  Brush off any crumbs.  Pour one-quarter of glaze on the cake and spread over to crumb-coat.  Pour remaining glaze over cake.  Rotate cake slowly so glaze coats top and sides and excess runs off cake onto platter.
  11. Melt white chocolate over simmering water.  Pipe chocolate through paper cone or squeeze bottle into concentric circles over top of cake.  Pipe one or two circles around cake in glaze on platter.
  12. With end of chopstick or dull knife, swirl white chocolate and glaze into small circles.  Serve at room temperature.

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