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Chocolate Chestnut Torte

Recently updated on 10 December 2011. This newer version does away with having to separate the eggs. 🙂

This is my variation of Sunset’s Italian Chocolate-Chestnut Torte. I’ve used sweetened chestnut vanilla purée instead of marrons glacées: either the Minerve or Clément Faugier’s brands could be found in European specialty shops, as well as at Whole Foods Market. (Although perhaps more likely during the winter holiday times!) Moreover, I prefer a graham cracker crust over the cookie crust, as it’s less sweet.

chocolate chesnut torte, about an hour out of the oven

By the way, it’s okay if the torte’s filling develops some cracks during baking. It’ll also puff up during baking, then sink down and crack a bit more as it cools.

The creamy, lightly nutty goodness of this torte is superb with tea or coffee. You can garnish a slice with a dollop of whipped cream, but it’s really quite tasty on its own.


  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped. Guittard and Valrhona are excellent choices.
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 7 ounces ricotta cheese, or farmer’s cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces of sweetened vanilla chestnut purée, a.k.a., chestnut cream
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 ounces brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • (optional) 2 tablespoons pine nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees; I used the “convection baking” setting.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. It should take 2 to 3 minutes; pause every 30 seconds to stir.
  3. Put the mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, chestnut purée, flour, and melted chocolate into a food processor, and churn until smooth and well mixed. I pulsed it for 5 to 10 seconds, about 3 to 5 times
  4. Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the rum, brown sugar, salt and eggs at high speed until pale, foamy and ribbony, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Fold the cheese mixture into the egg mixture just until there are no light or dark streaks in the filling.
  6. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle the top with pine nuts, if desired.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 350ºF, then lower the temperature to 325ºF degrees. Bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling has set; the surface should have a semi-matte appearance, rather than glossy. Coming right out of the oven the torte’s filling will still be jiggly, but will firm up as it cools. Allow to cool for at least an hour or three before serving.

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