Peanut Butter & Dark Choc Torte w/ Strawberry Sauce

Those who know me know that while I quite enjoy chocolate, I don’t quite have the sort of intimate, loving relationship with it that many of my female (and male!) friends have. In fact, I can go weeks or even a month or two without having a morsel of chocolate pass between my lips…

However, when I do indulge in a little chocolaty pleasure, I want it to be the sort of experience that makes you cry out – a chocgasm, if you will. I mean, what’s the point of being naughty if you’re only going to go about it half-arsed? No, if I’m going for a little guilty pleasure, then it’s gotta be the kind of pleasure that makes me want to roll over after it’s done and light up a post-pleasure cigarette.

So, when I was contacted last month and asked whether I’d be interested in trying some samples of Green & Black’s organic chocolate, I admit that my curiosity got the better of me and I accepted the offer. I’d seen their products around, and had some vegetarian friends who swore by the stuff…plus, I admit that the ‘organic’ branding did take my fancy.

When the parcel finally arrived, I split open the packets with my family eagerly sitting around, and we ran through a taste test of each flavour. The white chocolate tasted like most other good-quality white chocolate that I’ve come across – very milky, very sweet, perhaps a touch more fragrant than other supermarket brands I’ve come across. It melts away quite cleanly on the tongue without leaving much discernable residual oiliness that you get with cheaper chocolates.

However, the milk and dark chocolate taste test unfortunately failed to impress. The dark chocolate definitely had quite an intensely pleasant chocolate note to it, but I found the texture to be somewhat chalky instead of the silken smoothness that I’ve come to expect from a g00d-quality dark chocolate. The milk chocolate had a much better texture than the dark, but didn’t particularly make my tastebuds swoon in any way – though it was still gobbled up in a single sitting by my chocolate-loving mother.

The dark chocolate remaining untouched by the family members, I decided to try it in a recipe and see how well its flavour held up in a dessert. After a little browsing of my bookshelves, I settled on a recipe for a dark chocolate & peanut butter torte with strawberry sauce from my favourite chocolate desserts book, ‘Bittersweet‘ by Alice Medrich. This is definitely a must have cookbook for anyone who is serious about their chocolate desserts, and I figured that Ms Medrich’s recipe would help me to use the chocolate to create a lusciously decadent chocolatey treat to enjoy!

Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Torte w/ Strawberry Sauce
(From ‘Bittersweet‘ by Alice Medrich)

85g bittersweet chocolate (70-72% cocoa)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp peanut butter
pinch of salt
85g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
4 large eggs, cold (leave them in the fridge till you need them)
1 tbsp bourbon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To serve:
Powdered sugar for dusting
Pureed strawberries, sweetened to taste with strawberry jam
Vanilla or white chocolate ice cream, or plain whipped cream depending on your tastes

1. Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 180 degrees C, Line the base and sides of a cake tin with nonstick baking paper.

Place your chocolate in a large heatproof bowl in a wide skillet (or saucepan) of barely simmering water, and stir occasionally till nearly all melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir till the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

2. Whisk the sugar, salt and peanut butter into the melted chocolate till well incorporated, then add the butter and beat will an electric mixer.

3. Once the butter has been completely beaten in (no lumps left) and the mixture is smooth and creamy, beat in the eggs one by one, followed by the bourbon and the vanilla.

4. Beat the mixture for another 2-3 minutes or till the batter is light and fluffy, resembling a very fluffy frosting. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake pan and level it with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or till a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with moist (NOT WET!) crumbs clinging to it.

5. Once it has finished baking, set onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

NOTE: Once completely cooled, you can tightly wrap this in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months!

The strawberry sauce isn’t a recipe so much as instructions. Buy a punnet or two of fresh, ripe strawberries, rinse and hull, then pour into a blender with 1-2 tbsp of strawberry jam, and blitz till liquid. You can serve this as is, or if you’re insane like I am, you can run the mixture through a fine sieve to remove all the tiny seeds and pulp (which, incidentally, is quite nice if added to yoghurt or a smoothie!)

The resulting cake is an absolute treat – soft, extremely chocolatey with a faint peanut butter note in the background. It’s rich but not sweet, so this is the sort of of dessert which you can indulge in which won’t have you bouncing off the walls squealing in a sugar rush.

You can serve this with or without the strawberry, but I found that the cake, sauce and lightly whipped cream worked together quite harmoniously to make quite a simple but elegant dessert which would please almost any discerning chocolate lover.

[tags]chocolate cake, gluten-free, green & blacks, dessert, Alice Medrich, Bittersweet[/tags]

Others who have tried this recipe:

This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Annette Hosford, known to her friends and colleagues as Netty.

Netty lost her ongoing battle with cancer this morning, and passed away peacefully in her sleep.

A true food & wine lover, Netty loved it when I brought my creations in to work, and whenever I let her know that there was cake to be cut, she was always at the ready with napkins and an appetite, ready to share the calories and laughs.

My thoughts are with the Hosford family, and I hope that the knowledge that Netty is no longer suffering helps to ease some of their pain and the loss.

We will miss you.


  1. This is just what I’m in the mood for today! Looks delicious!

  2. That looks delicious!!! And am digging the new profile photo.

  3. Wow, this looks amazing! Yum. :) I love peanut butter and chocolate together, and this sounds like a truly wonderful way to combine them!!

  4. You are amazing! :)

  5. I haven’t been a fan of eating Green’s and Black, but it does taste fantastic in cooking.

    I love how bright red your strawberry sauce is!

  6. I came over from BakeX3 on LJ. This looks so good! Thanks for posting.

    I’m not a fan of Green and Black’s either. I worked at a natural food’s store last summer and got to taste all the different kinds of organic chocolate and my favorite by far is Equal Exchange. I don’t know if you’ve tried this kind, but if you haven’t I highly reccommend it.

  7. What an amazing recipe! I am also so sorry for the loss of your friend – we just lost a dear friend and neighbor who fought valiantly but finally succumbed. The best we can do to honor them is to celebrate them every day!

  8. Im so sorry about the loss of your friend. What a nice tribute.

    This torte looks incredible!!!!

  9. i am in heaven this has everything i like in a decadent dessert!

    very sorry to hear about your friend! all my deepest condolences

  10. I wish i could have that wonderful slice. Looks stunning!

  11. aww man. I need to stop reading you blog! I just put on 3 kg :p

  12. So sad to read about your loss.

    I shall bake this, take it to work and rave about you as always.

  13. Your photos are breathtaking!

  14. Ellie, with every new post I feel transported into your kitchen and home. Your pictures always blow me away and leave me feeling happy.

  15. :) Utterly beautiful. The sauce looks so amazing. Yum.

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  16. gorgeous torte – I want a large piece thanks (alright maybe my eyes are bigger than my stomach). I like the small amount of peanut butter in it – I love peanut butter but some baking just has too much of the stuff.

    Sorry to hear about the death of your friend

  17. Wow…these are absolutely mouthwatering…i wish i could have one now!

    Oh well…its good to know we have these great stuff around…keep it up!

  18. Your photography is beautiful, and this torte is gorgeous!

  19. I just love the splash of red in these photos! That torte looks so yummy.

  20. This looks absolutely incredible!

  21. Island Hoods says:

    Great site!!! Love the posts.. keep up all the good work, i read it everyday. :mrgreen:

  22. Hi Ellie,
    I like how you’ve changed the theme of your site. It looks fresh and beautiful!
    I’m sure Netty would appreciate your lovely tribute.

  23. mark hosford says:

    Mum would of loved the recipe, thanks for your kind words. She was a wonderful friend and mum.

    Mark Hosford

  24. Hi,

    I came across your blog through the Aussie Food Bloggers. Its got a lot of personality and your recipes are great. I love Peanut Butter and I cant wait to try the torte. I have a competition on my blog at the moment. Please check it out. Keep up the great work..


  25. I’m totally with you there about straining the sauce – you don’t want a zillion seeds ruining the taste experience πŸ˜€ Great photos, looks delish!

  26. Oh wow! It sounds incredible – a great take on peanut butter, chocolate and ‘jelly’ Looks so good!

  27. Beautiful, delicious, inspiring . . . that about sums it up, Ellie! Can’t wait for your next creation!

  28. Hi,
    New here. :) I agree if you’re going to indulge, you might as well eat something really decadent and that torte looks amazing!

  29. Green & Black’s is one of my favourite chocolate lines available. I especially like their cocoa. Their cookbook has also never failed me.

    This is a dangerous post for me as I’ve been in a decidedly peanut butter venturing into peanut butter AND chocolate mood as of late. It looks delicious.


  30. i love this recipe, it looks soooooo yummy, i love green and blacks as well, my kitchen drawer is full if it!

    lovely photos and blog,



  31. That looks so good…….I wanted to stick my finger through the screen to taste :mrgreen:

  32. And who doesn’t like chocolates and strawberries these are match made heaven..simply irresistible 😐

  33. this looks super yummy! I could almost taste the chocolate and strawberry just by looking at the photos! AWESOME job! and the photos are just gorgeous! (: Thanks for this!

  34. Ellie, this is such a special dish dedicated to what I am sure is a special woman. All my thoughts and prayers.

  35. :( where’d you go, ellie??

  36. Mmm. I love Green & Blacks white chocolate for the vanilla bean specks. And peanut butter and chocolate is my favourite combo this month!

    I’d love to know how you *did* get that sauce so red, it’s beautiful.

    My condolences on your friend.

  37. I love your food but most of all your pictures…. hope my blog will come close to yours someday!!!!

    Keep it up ! πŸ˜‰

    Kisses Sol

  38. JOANNA SZANDROCHA re Australia Sydney says:

    This is a dangerous post for me as I’ve been in a decidedly peanut butter venturing into peanut butter AND chocolate mood as of late. It looks delicious. this looks super yummy! I could almost taste the chocolate and strawberry just by looking at the photos! AWESOME job! and the photos are just gorgeous! (: Thanks for this!

  39. @ABowlOfMush – Thanks hon :)

    @Tiffany – Thanks sweetie :)

    @sara – It’s a time-tested combination πŸ˜‰

    @Jess – Oh shucks! :)

    @Rilsta – I have to agree with you! I’d definitely reserve this to be a cooking chocolate rather than eating chocolate!

    @Vicki – Unfortunately I’ve never seen Equal Exchange for sale here, but I’ll keep an eye out for it :)

    @Deborah Dowd – Thanks hon :)

    @Jen @ MaplenCornbread – Thank you sweetheart :)

    @Meeta – Thanks hon :)

    @Ramya Kiran – Thank you hon :)

    @Fiona – LOL! You should try living in the same house as me πŸ˜‰

    @Eolo – Thank you sweetheart :) xo

    @veggiebelly – Thanks hon :)

    @alice – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Miakoda – Thank you darling :)

    @Johanna – xoxox

    @Abigail – Thanks hon :)

    @Nicole – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Deanna – Thanks darling :)

    @the soho – Thanks! :)

    @Island Hoods – Thank you! I shall certainly try :)

    @Meaghan – Thanks hon :)

    @mark hosford – Thanks for stopping by, Mark :) She was much loved and we all miss her at work every day xo

    @Katherine – Thanks hon :)

    @Maria@Maria’sFoodFix – Thanks sweetie!

    @Katie – Hehehe, thanks darlin :)

    @Jane – Thank you so much! :)

    @Hannah – That’s what I think! :)

    @jasmine – Thanks honey :)

    @pity – Thank you hon :)

    @cathy – You should try making it πŸ˜‰ It’s very easy!

    @Rhea-UK Recipes – Thanks sweetie :)

    @Lianne – Thank you hon :)

    @Trisha – Thank you!

    @Kandice – Unfortunately I had some personal issues come up, but they seem to be settling down now :) Thank you so much for your concern! xo

    @SilverMoon – Thank you hon :) As for the sauce – I had extremely ripe strawberries! :)

    @Sol – Thank you hon :)

    @JOANNA SZANDROCHA re Australia Sydney – Thank you so much for your kind words! xo

  40. Wow! This recipe is awesome.:) I can’t wait to try it.

  41. Cath – thanks! I hope you like it :)

  42. Priya Suri says:

    Hi ellie, I just love your recipes esp the desserts. Is it possible to make the torte without eggs? What is the substitute for eggs?
    Would really appreciate your suggestions.

  43. @Priya Suri – I’m sorry but I really don’t think it’s possible to make this torte without eggs as since this is flourless, the eggs are what CREATE texture and hold the entire thing together.

  44. Peanut Butter & Dark Choc Torte w/ Strawberry Sauce #recipes

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