“Torte” Chocolate Meringue Birthday Cake

THE FAMILY SECRET IS OUT NOW! This Chocolate Meringue Birthday Cake or how we call it: torte, is a tradition. I bake it for every family member birthday, mine included. It is The Bekiesch Family Birthday Cake. The recipe comes from my lovely mother in law and I have modified it a little bit to the more healthy option but still belongs to the Naughty Corner cakes category, YUMMM!

To make this cake, we call it “torte”, you need:
  • the vanilla wholemeal sponge cake
  • the chocolate wholemeal sponge
  • meringue
  • chocolate cream
  • Glass of cherries
Don’t panic! It looks like more work than it really is. You can do the sponge cakes the day before if you like.
1. The vanilla wholemeal sponge cake:
  • 4 Eggs
  • 80 grams raw sugar
  • pinch of vanilla
  • 120-130  grams wholemeal (depends how large the eggs are)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Add slowly the vanilla sugar and raw sugar while still whisking. Mix the egg yolks gently in just to combine. Stir in gently the wholemeal mixed with baking powder. Bake on a baking paper for about 15 minutes. You can use now the baking time to prepare the chocolate sponge.
2. The chocolate wholemeal sponge cake:
  • 4 Eggs
  • 80 grams raw sugar
  • pinch of vanilla
  • 90-100 grams wholemeal
  • 30 grams cacao
Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Add slowly the vanilla sugar and raw sugar while still beating. Mix the egg yolks gently in just to combine. Stir in gently the wholemeal mixed cacao and baking powder. Bake on a baking paper for about 15 minutes. You can use now the baking time to prepare the meringue.
3. Meringue
  • 4 egg-whites (you can keep the egg-yolks to make some cookies later if you like)
  • pinch of salt
  • 250 grams raw caster sugar
  • pinch of vanilla sugar
  • one small table spoon of potato or corn flour
Heat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius. Whisk the egg-whites with salt till stiff. Add slowly sugar + vanilla while still beating. Add the flour and mix quick through to combine. Turn the oven down up to 120 degrees C and bake on a baking paper for about 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on it.
The baking part is over. Now, we need to prepare the chocolate cream.
4. The chocolate cream
  • 300 grams dark chocolate
  • 397 gram can of sweetened condensed milk 
  • some pure cacao if you like
  • rum or arrak aroma
Place your chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl (stainless steel or tempered glass), and set the bowl directly into a pot with water. Bring the water to a simmer, then turn off the flame and let the chocolate sit until it is melted. Do not cook it! Cool it down a little. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk for about 5-10 minutes until fluffy. Add slowly the melted chocolate while still beating and some cacao to enhance the flavor. Done!
We have to put it all together now. I usually cut the white and chocolate sponge though horizontally, freeze the one half of each and use only one part of each for the torte and use it for other cakes later. Here the steps to follow:
  1. Place the cherries in a sieve. Keep the cherries water for later.
  2. Mix some rum, whiskey or scotch with like half half with water. Spray or brush the sponge cakes and the meringue with it.
  3. Put the chocolate cake as first on your cake tray and distribute the choco cream on it.
  4. The meringue comes as next + the choco cream on top
  5. Now the white sponge + the choco cream on top
  6. Spread some cream on the sides of the cake and decorate the edges of the cake with it.
  7. Place the cherries on top of the cake and now come the tricky part of it. You need to cover the cherries with a layer of like gelatin icing. Well, I call it tortenguss and this is a German word for it. To make the galaretka, either you buy the “Tortenguss” (available in Australia in the International shelves at the IGA QLD, not sure about the other states) like I do it, or you need to make yourself. To do it yourself, you mix one table spoon of potato flour with one table spoon of raw sugar in a small pot, add 125ml of cherry water + 125 ml water and bring it boil while stirring permanently. Take off the heat and distribute over the cherries.
  8. Your torte is ready! Put a cover over the cake and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours (better over night) before serving. Enjoy!
Tips:
  • Bake the sponge cakes the day before so you have the half of the work already done.
  • Cut the cakes in half horizontally and put the not needed half pieces into freezer for the lazy days cakes. It is not recommended to bake a thin sponge cake by making a half of the ingredients as the cake will dry out while baking. Thats why it is recommended to bake more like per my recipe and freeze the half of it for later.
  • Well, If you don’t have the “Tortenguss” or potato flour, you can also bring to boil 250 ml of the cherries water + water (125ml + 125ml) and one table spoon of raw sugar, mix some corn flour with cold water, add to the boiling cherries water bring to boil and it works as well.
The white sponge, chocolate sponge and the meringue are ready. Now combine it all together with the chocolate cream and your torte is ready!

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