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Alpine Chocolate Cake

On 2/2/2019 5:30 PM, Dianne wrote:

I am looking for a recipe that was published in Chocolatier magazine maybe 20 years ago.
The recipe is "Chocolate Alpine Cake". The cake itself was chocolate and I think that 
it was baked on a cookie sheet. (Maybe not). The cake was sliced into thinner slices 
and layered with a filling-- whipped chocolate ganache?-- to make a many-layered loaf-shaped. 
It was frozen for a short time before being cut on the diagonal into two triangles, then put 
together again back-to-back so that there were "stripes" of cake/filling straight up and 
down when the frosted cake was cut. The cake had a crunchy sugary almond mixture called 
"crocquant" (which I *did* save the recipe for) sprinkled on it before it was covered in a 
thin chocolate ganache. 
Thanks for any help!

Hi Dianne,

Sorry, I had no success with this. I found several requests for this recipe on "Chowhound" and other message boards, but no one appears to have had any success. There is no database of Chocolatier recipes on the web.

One of the posts on Chowhound said that it was in the March, 1987 issue of "Chocolatier". I certainly cannot guarantee that the Alpine Cake recipe is in that issue, but it might be.

If so, you can buy that issue here: Back Issues

Also there is a cookbook available: "Chocolate Passion: Recipes and Inspiration from the Kitchens of Chocolatier Magazine by Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty." You can buy a used copy of that cookbook at Amazon for less than $5.00 plus shipping. I have no idea whether the Alpine Cake recipe is in that cookbook, but it might be. See: Chocolate Passions

I will post this for reader input. Perhaps one of my readers has the recipe or that issue of Chocolatier.


Subject: Alpine Chocolate Cake
From: Dianne
Date: 2/3/2019, 10:03 AM

LOL I saw the one that posted that request on Chowhound-- and I found your board yesterday 
so emailed you. I've searched online forever for the recipe. I have that cookbook -- 
nothing in there :(
It's horrible to have a memory of something so good to eat, then to not be able to have it 
Hopefully it will turn up in my lifetime.
Thanks for looking for me, I appreciate it.

Hello Dianne,

I have an online friend who has access to some resources that I do not have and who enjoys helping me find lost recipes. I asked her to help with your request, and she found the below.


Hopefully I was able to come through here - while unfortunately I do not have access to the 
March 1987 issue of Chocolatier, a "Chocolate Alpine Cake" does appear in a book published in 
1989 by the editors of Chocolatier, "Glorious Chocolate." I've typed it in full personally, 
triple checking for typos and proper measurements. There are some slight differences between 
what is sought and the following recipe, however it seems likely the requester simply misremembered 
flavor of cake and precise finishing methods. Having read this recipe in such detail whilst typing 
it up, it seems natural one would recall the cake as being entirely chocolate: thin sponge layers 
called for here are no match for the ganache filling in the battle of winning over tastebuds.


Chocolate Alpine Cake

Inspired by the lofty peaks and pitched roofed mountain chalets of Switzerland, this triangular, 
multilayered cake with its nutty chocolate glaze is a charming -and wonderfully tasty - centerpiece. 
Erecting the cake may sound tricky, but if you take it a step at a time and let logic rule, you 
will have no trouble at all. Because the cake is assembled while it is frozen, remember to allow 
at least 3 hours for freezing. A note about the ingredients: we like the full, rich flavor provided 
by the vanilla bean, but if you prefer to use extract, substitute 1  teaspoons of pure vanilla 
extract for the bean and add it to the ganache with the cognac.

Yield 12 servings.

Preparation time 2 1/2 hours plus baking, roasting (the nuts), cooling, freezing and chilling times


1 1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
A few grains of salt
2 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces Swiss milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Cognac


4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted cake flour (not self rising)

To assemble:

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 tablespoons cognac

Almond Croquant:

1/2 cup finely chopped slivered almonds
1 teaspoon lightly beaten egg white
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Chocolate glaze:

3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
A few grains of salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/2 ounces Swiss milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Cognac

Garnish (optional):

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Make the ganache:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, butter and salt. Scrape the tiny black seeds from 
the vanilla beans into the saucepan. Add the scraped bean pods and slowly bring the mixture 
to a gentle boil over medium-low heat. Take the pan off the heat and remove the vanilla pods.

2. In a food processor fitted with the metal chopped blade, process the chocolates for 15 to 
20 seconds or until finely chopped. Add the egg yolks and pulse twice. With the machine running, 
pour the hot cream mixture through the feed tube and blend for 10 to 15 seconds, until smooth. 
Add the cognac and process briefly to blend. Scrape the ganache into a medium bowl and cover 
the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for no longer than 1 1/2 hours, until the ganache 
has thickened to the consistency of chocolate pudding.

Make the sponge cake:

3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line the bottom on an 
11-by-17-inch-jelly-roll-pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the short ends. 
Fold the overhang underneath the pan. Butter the aluminum foil and the sides of the pan, and 
lightly dust the bottom and sides with flour and tap out the excess.

4. In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Set the 
bowl over a pot of hot, not simmering, water so that the bottom of the bowl touches the water. 
Continue whisking the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar crystals have dissolved 
and the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the hot water.

5. Using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the mixture for 5 to 
7 minutes or until it has tripled in volume and the batter is a pale yellow and forms a thick 
ribbon when the beaters are lifted. Beat in the vanilla. Sift one fourth of the flour over 
the batter and fold it in briskly but gently. Fold in the remaining flour in three additions. 
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Tap the pan on a work surface to 
remove any large air bubbles.

6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. 
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Unfold the aluminum foil ends and use 
them as handles to transfer the sponge to a large wire rack. Let the cake cool completely. 
Using your fingers or a small knife, carefully peel off the soft brown, paper-thin layer from 
the surface of the sponge cake. Removing this layer produces a more defined pattern when the 
cake is cut into slices.

7. Using the aluminum foil handles, transfer the sponge cake to a large work surface. With a 
long, serrated knife, trim  inch off all four edges of the cake. Carefully invert the cake 
onto a work surface and gently peel off the aluminum foil.

8. Cut three 3 3/4 by 10 inch thin cardboard strips. Using the cardboard strips as guides, cut 
the sponge cake into four equal strips with the long serrated knife. Wrap the three cardboard 
strips separately in aluminum foil.

Assemble the cake:

9. In a small bowl, stir together the raspberry and cognac.

10. Set aside 1 3/4 cups of the ganache and hold at room temperature. Using a hand held electric 
mixer set at medium speed, beat the remaining 1 3/4 cups of ganache for 5 to 10 seconds, until its 
color lightens and it forms stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. (Do not overbeat or the ganache 
will become grainy.)

11. Put one of the cake strips onto one of the foil-covered cardboard strips. Using a small offset 
metal cake spatula, coat the strip with 2 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture. Spread 1/2 cup of 
the whipped ganache over the raspberry layer. Put a second strip of sponge cake on top of the filling, 
coat with 2 tablespoons of the raspberry mixture, and spread with  cup of the ganache. Put a third 
of the strip of the sponge cake on top of the filling and repeat the process. Put the fourth strip of 
the sponge cake on top of the filling. Cover the assembled cake with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 to 
3 hours until form.

12. Position the frozen cake along the front edge of a work surface so that its long side is facing 
you. Using a long, serrated knife and leaning it against the table edge to guide it, slice the cake 
at a diagonal between the upper rear and lower front corners. Remove the front half of the sliced cake 
with a long metal cake spatula and lay it lengthwise, cut side down, on the second foil covered 
cardboard strip.

13. Using a hand held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the remaining ganache until it lightens 
in color and forms stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Spread 1/2 cup of the ganache onto the 
unlayered surface of the cake half that is lying on the second foil-covered strip. Using the foil 
covered strip for support, lift the cake half and stand it on the third foil-covered strip. Put the 
second cake half, cut side facing outward, alongside it. Gently press the two halves together to form 
a pyramid. Coat the sides of the cake with the remaining ganache. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the 
top and sides of the cake and gently press so that it adheres to the ganache. Using a plastic scraper, 
smooth the sloping sides of the cake by running the scraper over the plastic. Refrigerate the cake for 
30 minutes, until the ganache is firm.

Make the almond croquant:

14. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300F. On a baking sheet, mix together the 
almonds and egg white until the mixture is moist. Add the sugar and toss until the mixture is moist. 
Add the sugar and toss until the almonds are evenly coated. Spread the almonds in a single layer and 
roast them for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring three or four times, until the sugar starts to caramelize and 
the almonds are golden. Transfer the almond croquant to another baking sheet to stop the cooking process. 
Let the croquant cool completely.

Make the chocolate glaze:

15. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly bring the cream, corn syrup, and salt to a gentle boil. 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolates. Let the mixture sit for 1 to 2 minutes and gently 
whisk until smooth. Stir in the cognac. Strain the glaze into a bowl. Let the glaze cool to 88 to 90F, 
stirring frequently so that it cools evenly.

16. Put the chilled cake on a large wire rack set over a baking sheet. Remove the plastic wrap. Gently 
stir the almond croquant into the chocolate glaze. Ladle the warm chocolate glaze over the cake, using a 
metal cake spatula to help spread it evenly. Chill the cake on the rack for 5 to 10 minutes or until the 
glaze has set. Using two long metal cake spatulas, remove the cake from the wire rack and transfer to a 
cutting surface. Cut the cake into twelve slices using a hot, clean knife for each cut. Arrange the 
slices on a serving plate. If desire, garnish with fresh raspberries. Let the slices sit at room 
temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

And please be sure to thank the person who sent this to you.
I was beside myself when I opened this email. I absolutely cannot believe that you were 
able to track this down.  That cake has been on my mind for YEARS!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you.   Now I need to set aside time to make it! 

You're the best  :)
With my deepest thanks,

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