5 Ingredients or Fewer

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte

March 26, 2021
4.4 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Note: If you want to see lots of questions answered by Beranbaum herself, head to the original article here. This flourless chocolate torte is a better and purer vehicle for chocolate than chocolate itself (scientifically speaking).

It's made from just 3 ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs. It takes less time to mix together than your average cookie, and it only bakes for 15 minutes.
Beranbaum's recipes are famously precise, but, as I found out, it's not because there's only one way to get them right. It's because she tests them until she finds the most proven path to making them the best that they can be. Adapted very slightly from The Cake Bible (William Morrow, 1988). —Genius Recipes

Watch This Recipe
Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte
  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes one 8-inch torte, serves many
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (454 grams) bittersweet chocolate (fine quality that you love eating, no higher than 62%)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks, or 227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs (300 grams, out of the shell), room temperature if possible
  • Equipment: One 8-inch spring form pan at least 2 1/2 inches high, buttered, and bottom lined with buttered parchment; outside of pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty foil. One 10-inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) place the chocolate and butter and allow it to stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. (You can also use a microwave on higher power, stirring every 20 seconds.)
  3. In a large mixer bowl, set over a pan of simmering water, heat the eggs, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until just warm to the touch. Immediately remove the bowl to the stand mixer and with the whisk attachment on high speed, beat about 5 minutes, until triple in volume and the eggs are billowy and lighter in color. (If using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot. Then remove them from the heat and beat for about 5 minutes or until cold.)
  4. Use as large wire whisk or rubber spatula to fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost evenly incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until almost no streaks remain. Use a rubber spatula to finish folding, scraping up the mixture from the bottom to ensure that all the heavier chocolate mixture gets incorporated.
  5. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and set it in the larger pan. Place it in the oven and surround it with 1 inch of hot water. Bake for 5 minutes. Cover it loosely with a sheet of buttered foil and bake another 10 minutes. (It will wobble when moved.) Remove the cake pan from the water bath and allow it to cool for about 45 minutes. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until very firm, at least 3 hours.
  6. Unmold the cake: Have ready a serving plate that has at least an 8-inch flat center portion and an 8-inch or large flat loose bottom of a tart pan or plate, covered with greased plastic wrap.
  7. Use a torch, hair drier, or a hot damp towel to wipe the sides of the pan.
  8. Run a thin metal spatula around the sides of the torte and release the sides of the springform pan. Place the plastic-wrapped plate on top and invert the torte onto it. Heat the bottom of the pan and remove it. Peel off the parchment and reinvert the torte onto the serving plate.
  9. Serve: It is most moussey and delicious at room temperature. Cut the torte, using a thin-bladed knife dipped in hot water between each slice. Accompany with raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries and whipped cream if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Hezel Judah
    Hezel Judah
  • Kate
    Kate
  • Ehrin Poklen
    Ehrin Poklen
  • Rose Levy Beranbaum
    Rose Levy Beranbaum
  • Peggy Griswold
    Peggy Griswold
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

78 Reviews

ann L. November 22, 2021
With my busy schedule when I find myself with some done time I usually bake cakes, cookies and other stuff and freeze them, its great for those last minute meals and desserts. I know that flourless chocolate tortes freeze well...but I never made one so I want to make sure I can freeze this without ruining the texture.
I plan on open freezing until solid, then wrapping it in two layers or saran wrap and two layers of foil. I also will put it in a Foodsaver bag to ensure no air gets in.
If I do that and let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator will that work without spoiling the texture?
Thanks

 
Rose L. November 22, 2021
Hi Ann,
i actually had to refer back to "the cake bible" where my recipe first appeared because i tried freezing most everything to determine whether or not it was a good idea and i see i wrote "do not freeze because freezing changes the texture.
but i also wrote that it keeps refrigerated 2 weeks. hope this helps.
 
Ann L. November 22, 2021
Perfect! Glad I asked… so many of these sites never reply…so thanks for that!! I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving, now I at least have a time reference. I have your book but didn’t think to look there.
 
Laurie G. September 21, 2021
OMG! This is absolutely the most luscious, decadent chocolate cake ever! Our chocolate fiends, young and old, went wild over it. (My daughter-in-law, who's got restaurant experience, couldn't get over the mousse-like texture and proclaimed it as Master Chef worthy.) I loved the fact that it was so excellently and minutely detailed, taking all my lack of confidence and guesswork away. Because we're all dark chocolate lovers, the darker the better, I wanted to use the max-62% but was only able to procure Valrhona 66%. In the end, I used 286 grams 66% + 146 grams 55%, which worked out perfectly! WOW WOW WOW, this is the be-all and end-all of chocolate desserts! I salute you Rose L. and Food 52! (Obviously, I've got both Genius Recipes and Genius Desserts Cookbooks-they're treasures.)
 
Rose L. September 21, 2021
thank you so very much Laurie for your incredible review of one of my top chocolate anythings! and as it happens, this is the cake from "the cake bible" that Woody made for me 18 years ago when i met him in MN. he is now my husband.
it was very wise of you to combine the two chocolates. as no doubt you realize, too high a % of cacao solids would give different results: the extra cocoa solids and cocoa butter would make it heavier and less moussey and the extra cocoa butter would cause some of the fat to separate out during mixing and baking. sounds like yours worked just perfectly. i am also so grateful to Kristen Migliore for featuring this special cake.
 
ann L. November 22, 2021
Thanks for doing that math for me... as I have both Valrhona chocolates in my pantry and no 62% and under... :)!!
 
Laurie G. November 22, 2021
Oh my, Rose, what a thrill and honor-how very sweet of you to reply so very personally! (Woody's a keeper if ever there was one:D) Truth be told, I recently purchased "The Baking Bible" and have decided to make your Frozen Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Your recipe sounds absolutely scrumptious, so now it's down to getting all the steps just so, but I must admit making the crust with all the accompanying paraphernalia, seems slightly daunting. I'm relying on your explicit instructions and excellent photos to carry me through.
 
Laurie G. November 22, 2021
My pleasure, Ann, although to be honest, my husband deserves the credit. I honestly wouldn't have known where to begin...;)
 
Hezel J. April 16, 2021
How can I convert this recipe if I'm using a 9 inch springform pan? I want to feed a big crowd.
 
Rose L. April 16, 2021
Hezel, i don't think this cake lends itself to increasing the size because it really needs a water bath and also i don't think the texture would be even. i recommend making several cakes instead. it also might make serving easier to use square springform pans.
 
Hezel J. April 16, 2021
How can I convert this recipe if I'm using a 9 inch springform pan? I want to feed a big crowd.
 
Corinne March 28, 2021
Made this for the first time, and received rave reviews. My daughter said it was her new favorite dessert! Came out perfectly using Kosher for Passover Bittersweet Chocolate. No longer worried that the extremely wobbly mixture is under baked, it set beautifully.
 
Kate October 28, 2020
I've made this recipe almost 10 times now and it turns out perfectly every time, despite my limited baking experience. It also gets rave reviews and is possibly my favorite cake I've ever made. I frequently serve it dusted with a nice, rich cinnamon instead of with raspberries and cream. I like it both ways, but prefer it with the simple cinnamon presentation (which also helps obscure any surface "bumps"). I make this will Callebaut 811 Dark Chocolate Callets (54.5%) and it is a dream to work with compared to other chocolates I've used.
 
Martha K. July 4, 2020
This has been one of my favorite recipes for 20 years (since Celiac joined my personal party) - a truly rich, decadent special occasion dessert that is a show stopper - AND easy, with 3 ingredients plus your choice of sauce/topping.
I love it so! It’s the first thing I send to friends with gluten issues, to remind them there’s still hope and deliciousness to be had! ❤️
 
Gwyneth B. June 8, 2020
My sister and I tried out this recipe and it was really good! We wanted to find a flourless chocolate cake like the one trader joes used to sell as it was a family favorite and this recipe absolutely exceeded that bar. When finding chocolate to use we ran out of good chocolate so we substituted the remaining chocolate with a mixture of supermarket brand semisweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder paste and the flavor was still great, though there were some clumps of chocolate in the torte after baking, which isnt that bad of a thing. Make sure you dont let the water for the eggs boil because we ended up having parts of it getting cooked. Dont worry too much about the water bath; we almost certainly got water between the foil and the springform, but I think the short baking time prevented too much water from leaking in. One last thing is to leave the cake in the fridge for the longest time possible. I took it out of the fridge exactly 3 hours after putting it in, but the cake had barely cooled (it was room temperature) and had a mousse-y texture. My family and Imuch preffered the texture of it cold after having chilled overnight, though I guess thats personal taste. Thanks for the great recipe!
 
Rose L. June 8, 2020
thank you Gwyneth for this wonderfully detailed report! i also like to let it sit until well chilled and then after cutting, allow it to warm up a bit so that it is still cool but beginning to develop a mousse-like texture.
 
KC March 15, 2020
This is one of the best recipes I have ever had. When we really want to truly indulge in chocolate decadence, this is it. I have followed the recipe as written and it is a thing of absolute deliciousness and beauty. Thank you so much for this!
 
Rose L. March 15, 2020
thank you so much KC! ❤️ 🌹
 
Shirley G. September 18, 2019
Could this be the Rose of Portland ,'s famous Rose's Bakery and Delicatessen?
 
Ehrin P. January 26, 2019
This recipe is insufficient. It does not give you the temperature at which the “hot” water bath should be prior to placing this carefully created delicacy into your oven. I caught this when I pulled it out of the oven and it was soup. Bumped oven up to 500 and gave it another 5 minutes. Follow your instincts.
 
draya3 January 27, 2019
I've made this several times and have always used very hot tap water and never had a problem. As she says in the recipe, it firms up in the fridge.
 
Pam December 1, 2018
This is probably a little blasphemous but I just gotta ask..could this be made in Instant Pot?
 
Rose L. November 2, 2018
i'm still on book tour for "rose's baking basics" but Kristen sent me this link and i just want to tell you all how much i appreciate your comments!
love, rose
 
Amy November 1, 2018
In response to storage questions: in the original recipe (Cake Bible, p. 84-85), it is not advised to freeze the cake, as it will change the texture. R.L.B. recommends storing up to 2 weeks refrigerated.
 
Mary T. November 1, 2018
I purchased "The Cake Bible" in 1999. I've been making the torte at least twice a year ever since. On the days when my cake results are cosmetically challenged, I make a nice, shiny chocolate glaze to cover a multitude of sins. A crown of fresh raspberries doesn't hurt, either! It was this book that led to my fascination with all things Food Science; now friends call me when they have a question about cooking (especially baking). When I don't have the answer at my fingertips, I turn to my collection of reference books (Yes, it is possible to cook without the web). My favorite authors are Beranbaum, McGee, Child, and a host of others.
 
Rose L. March 28, 2021
Wow--i couldn't be in better company---those are my two 'dessert island' cookbook authors!
 
X March 14, 2018
Served it with strawberry sauce, a fresh strawberry cut into a rose for each serving, whipped cream, and a few mint sprigs. Looked good, tasted great.
 
Peggy G. March 14, 2018
Recipe Please for incredible raspberry sauce that is in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum?
 
Rachel H. March 14, 2018
Yes! By memory on p 337. Enjoy 😊 it really is the perfect combinatio. Oh, and whipped cream too of course. I made this again in the weekend and people were in raptures...someone referred to it as ineffable!
 
Susy S. September 4, 2018
Peggy, here's the link to the Raspberry Sauce:
http://redfieldrecipes.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RaspberrySauce
 
Rachel H. February 26, 2018
I made this amazing cake and also the incredible raspberry sauce that is in The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Completely amazing. I would encourage anyone to try the making the cake and take the time to undertake all the steps exactly as described. It’s definitely worth every minute.
 
Camila P. February 18, 2018
The instructions for this recipe say to place the mixture into the prepared pan but there are no directions on how to prepare the pan. Parchment paper? Butter? This isn't the first recipe I've found on this site that omits this information or leaves it for the end of the recipe.
 
Camila P. February 18, 2018
Oops, seems I can't edit this, but I just found the instructions. >_<
 
Steph A. December 31, 2017
I made this for Christmas and I was so good! I was worried since I only had cocoa powder available, so I had to make a sweetened cocoa paste first. I did a 1/2 batch in a 6” cheesecake pan. It was amazing! I will definitely make again
 
Margaret January 25, 2019
Will you please give directions on the amounts used when substituting with cocoa powder? Thanks!
 
Steph A. January 25, 2019
I can’t remember exactly, as it was so long ago when I made this. But I’m also certain I looked up a recipe on how to make chocolate from cocoa powder like this one:
https://m.wikihow.com/Make-Chocolate-With-Cocoa-Powder

I think as long as you are able to temper the chocolate sauce/paste and get all the lumps out, it should turn out great!