Every country has its traditional food dishes. From sushi in Japan, to fish and chips in the UK and tacos in Mexico, it’s easy to be familiar with customary ‘main course’ dishes like these. However, what is not always common knowledge is a country’s specialty dessert. Ask any Argentine around what they think is the most typical Argentine dessert and you are almost guaranteed to learn about the Chocotorta.
Literally translated as ‘chocolate cake’, this Argentine phenomenon is so much more than just chocolate cake. Combining the classic Argentine-invented dulce de leche with queso crema (cream cheese) and chocolinas (chocolate cookies), this go-to postre is simple, yet delicious, which is probably why it’s almost impossible to find an Argentine who is unfamiliar with it. Imagine trying to find a person from the United States who is unfamiliar with what a birthday cake is. Considering no Argentine birthday celebration is complete without a chocotorta, this is the most accurate comparison.
So how exactly do you make a chocotorta? It’s actually pretty simple. Put away your oven mitts because this delicious dish requires no baking. All you need are a few ingredients and around 30 minutes to prepare it and you too can enjoy this classic dessert.
750 grams (3 packs of 250g) of Chocolinas*
400 grams of Dulce de Leche
400 grams of Casancrem*
500 ml milk
150 grams of cream
1 bar of milk chocolate (300 grams)
*Substitute any chocolate cookies if Chocolinas not available*
*Substitute cream cheese if Casancrem not available*
Step 1: Mix the Casancrem with the dulce de leche until well blended
Step 2: Pour milk in a bowl and prepare a rectangular (preferable) glass or ceramic dish for cake
Step 3: Soak cookies in milk (usually takes around 20-30 seconds each), sticking each one directly next to the other in rows covering the surface of the dish
Step 4: After the first layer of cookies is placed in the dish, spread a thick layer of the dulce de leche/Casancrem mixture over the layer of cookies. Continue this layering (alternating between cookies and dulce de leche/Casancrem mixture) until running out of cookies or reaching the top of the dish.
Step 5: Place cake in freezer for at least 1 hour
Step 6: Break chocolate bar into pieces (chopping if desired) and place in bowl
Step 7: Heat cream until almost boiling and pour over chocolate in bowl
Step 8: Stir chocolate and cream until achieving a well-blended mix
Step 9: Pour chocolate mix over chocotorta as the final layer
Step 10: Serve and enjoy!
Variations of the Chocotorta
As is true with any dish, there are a number of ways that people choose to alter the classic Chocotorta recipe to give the dessert a personal touch. Many Argentines soak the Chocolinas in coffee instead of milk to give the cake a coffee twist. Further in this direction, some people even substitute Kahlua, transforming this classic dish into an adult-only treat. Still others, especially if serving it for a child’s birthday, use chocolate milk in place of milk. However, whatever recipe you use, as long as you like chocolate, you’re essentially guaranteed a delicious dessert!
Written by Will Collier