Fran Bigelow’s Deep Chocolate Torte

  • Serves

    makes One 9" Torte


Bigelow opened Fran's Chocolates in Seattle in 1982 and is an artisanal-chocolate pioneer. Her chocolates are made from an array of international beans.


  • 1 lb. dark chocolate, preferably Cacao Barry Equateur (60 percent cacao) or Callebaut (56 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other liqueur
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Cocoa for dusting


Step 1

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water and allow to melt completely.

Step 2

Preheat the oven to 350º. Generously butter a 9" cake or springform pan. Cut a 9" round of waxed paper and press it over the bottom of the pan.

Step 3

Beat the eggs, sugar, and liqueur in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring with a wooden spoon, until warm but not hot. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate.

Step 4

Whip the cream to soft peaks and gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Carefully transfer the batter to the pan.

Step 5

Bake for 40 minutes or until a straw or cake tester inserted into the torte at least 2 to 4 inches from the side comes out clean. The center should be just set; do not overbake.

Step 6

Let cool to room temperature, remove from the pan, and peel off the liner. It is best served with a simple dusting of cocoa; accompaniments like unsweetened whipped cream or raspberry sauce are optional.

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