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Chocolate Cranberry Torte

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Why I Love This Recipe

A bit labor intensive, but incredibly rich. The assembly instructions are a little confusing. I just flipped it upside down onto a wire rack and glazed. From The Washington Post:

This dessert provides an elegant end to the dinner party of Petworth resident Neema Enriquez. The sauce, torte and glaze can be made 1 day ahead; the cake can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day. Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine (December 2oo3).

Ingredients You'll Need

For the sauce:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons black raspberry-flavored liqueur, such as Chambord

For the torte:
3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
1/3 cup black raspberry-flavored liqueur
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup black raspberry-flavored liqueur

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


For the sauce: Combine the cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium; cook about 5 minutes or until the cranberries burst. Cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Strain into a bowl; discard the pulp. Add the liqueur, stirring to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (the sauce will thicken).

For the torte: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 3/4 cup of the dried cranberries and the liqueur. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, or until the liqueur starts to bubble at the edges. Cool to room temperature. Drain the cranberries; reserve the liqueur and macerated cranberries separately.

Melt the butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it begins to bubble at the edges. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar, then the eggs in several increments (the batter may look grainy). Add the reserved liqueur, stirring to combine. Add the flour, salt and macerated cranberries, stirring gently until blended. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until the top of the torte has puffed and cracked and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with moist (not wet) batter attached. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. (At this point, the torte can be covered and stored at room temperature for 1 day.)

While the cake is baking, make the glaze: Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; let stand 1 minute. Whisk until smooth and melted. Add the liqueur, stirring to combine. Let stand until glaze is thick but still pourable, whisking occasionally, about 2 hours. (This should yield about 2 1/2 cups.)

To assemble: Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Using a knife, loosen the inside edge of the torte from the pan; remove the pan sides. Place an 8-inch cardboard round or an 8-inch tart pan bottom on top of the torte. Holding the cardboard and springform pan bottom, invert onto the rack. Remove the pan bottom; discard the parchment paper cake liner. Pour 1 1/2 cups glaze over the torte. Using an offset spatula, smooth the glaze over top and sides (re-apply any glaze that has dripped onto the baking sheet, if necessary). Freeze the torte for about 10 minutes, or until the glaze has set. Pour the remaining 1 cup of glaze over the torte and smooth evenly. Place the reserved 1/4 cup dried cranberries in small groups around the top edge of the torte. Freeze for 15 minutes, or until the glaze is firm.

Transfer to a serving plate; cover with a cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. Arrange the mint leaves between cranberries at the top edge of the torte. Serve individual slices with a drizzle of sauce on each plate.

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