Food + Wine

Chilled Chocolate Torte with Walnut Pretzel Crust

I don’t know who came up with the concept of eating chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

A chocolate company, I’m assuming.

But instead of buying your Valentine a box of chocolates, or something you have no ownership in besides the fact that you gave the cashier some money, make them this Chocolate Torte.

Just trust me on this.

This.  This!!! This is amazing. So amazing that I do believe I’ve made it every single year since I created it 5 years ago. And if you know me at all, and my constant need and urge and desire to change, that’s saying a lot.

I’ve made it for Valentine’s Day, for my moms birthday, for Christmas Eve dinner, for your average Tuesday… It’s just that good.  Nobody has ever eaten it and not kissed me after their first bite.  It’s like dark chocolate butter… it’s cold when it’s served to you, sitting there on your plate, beckoning you to take your first bite… then once it hits the warmth of your tongue, it melts, slowly.  There is honestly nothing like it on this earth.

So, although I already have myself a fine Valentine, I’m gonna offer this recipe up to those of you who haven’t nailed yours down yet.

Because This. This!!!! This is magic.



serves 8


In a food processor, combine the following…

  • 3 ounces salted pretzels
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add in…

  • 4 TB/half stick unsalted, melted butter

Pulse until the butter is mixed in well and the mixture resembles wet breadcrumbs.

Press this into a tart shell (with removable sides) that is 9 inches wide and 1 inch deep.  Press firmly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool while you make your filling.


In a double boiler or glass bowl set atop a smaller pot with simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the top of the water), combine the following…

  • 1 lb. semi sweet or a combo of semi sweet and 60-70% dark chocolate morsels/chopped pieces (if you’re using all morsels, a standard bag is 12 oz, so you’d need 1 bag + 1/4 of another)
  • 4 TB/half stick unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tsp espresso powder

With the water in the pot simmering, slowly melt the chocolate/butter while stirring.  (This idea behind melting chocolate this way is that you want to do it slowly, under indirect heat, so you don’t burn the cocoa butter.  If you find yourself with a lumpy mix, it means you have, in fact, burned it.  So just add some more chocolate pieces to cool it down while stirring.  This should fix it.)

Once it’s completely melted, turn off the heat and whisk in…

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (no substitutions)

It should now be all melted and smooth and glossy.

Using a towel around the bowl to catch any water from dripping into your shell, pour this hot chocolate mixture into your prepared crust.

Spread evenly with a spatula, keeping in mind that whatever spatula marks you make will be there in the end, so swirl mindfully 😉

Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight until completely firm.

When you’re ready to serve, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving chilled.

Serve with some very lightly whipped cream.

Or serve naked.

Whether or not you’re naked when you serve it is entirely up to you.


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  • Reply Brittany McIntosh February 11, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Literally. Drooling. Sweet & Salty Perfection.

    • Reply Everyday Champagne February 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Ha!!!! Yes!!! Isn’t sweet and salty the best?! Thank you Brittany 🙂

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