Despite its name, Torta Alemã, which translates to ‘German Cake’, has actually little to do with Germany and its cuisine. As far as anyone knows, it’s simply the name the cake’s creator Sílvia Leite gave it to commemorate her fond times travelling through Europe, but is otherwise a 100% Brazilian cake, originating in Sao Paulo.
Creamy and crumbly, this cake is a popular Christmas treat in Brazil. It’s more like a cream pie and is so easy to make! A true lifesaver when you need to crop up a last minute dessert. No need to slave in the kitchen for hours or risk burning anything while baking. Just whip it up, wait for it to set and enjoy!
For the biscuit base:
- 400 g biscuits (or honey flavored graham crackers)
- milk to moisten the biscuits/crackers
For the filling:
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 200 g sugar
- 350 g whey-free cream
- 1 egg yolk optional
- 1 tablespoon port wine optional
For the chocolate ganache topping:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons chocolate powder
- 200 g heavy cream
- In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sifted sugar until you get a pale and fluffy cream.
- Add the yolk (if using) and incorporate it well into the mixture.
- Add the whey-free cream gradually until you get a homogeneous mixture and reserve.
- Add 1 tablespoon of port wine or liquor, if using mix well and set aside while we prepare the base.
For the cookie base:
- Prepare a deep dish with milk and a springform cake pan.
- Dip the cornstarch biscuits in the milk and arrange them in a layer at the bottom of the pan. You can also place some along the edge to form an upward crust.
- Divide the cream in 3 parts and spread 1/3 of it into an even layer. Follow with another layer of moistened biscuits and the next third of the cream, alternating in this way until you finish with a final layer of biscuits.
- Cover the pan with plastic film and place in the fridge until firm (at least 5 hours or overnight would be best).
For the chocolate ganache:
- Once set, it's time to prepare the chocolate topping. To do this, heat up the heavy cream in a saucepan on medium-low heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate powder, and butter and continue stirring until it thickens. Set aside to cool.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and serve cold.