The Chocotorta is a very decadent and delicious Argentine chocolate cake dessert that is served during special occasions, birthdays and parties. The Chocotorta, which is very similar to the Italian Tiramisu, was created sometime in the 1980s by Marité Mabragaña. Ms. Mabragaña, an advertising executive, is credited with coming up with the idea for the Chocotorta recipe so that she could combine two of her accounts, Mendizábal, makers of Mendicrim cream cheese, and Bagley, the makers of Chocolinas chocolate cookies, in one commercial. The Mendizábal and Bagdley accounts were skeptical of the idea at first but were eventually able to be convinced by Ms. Mabragaña to join forces. The idea
worked better than they had expected, turning the silky Chocotorta into one of the most beloved desserts. Additionally, Ms. Mabragaña has also been credited with coming up with the concept of cobranding in Argentina.
Even though the Chocotorta has not been around for as long as other better-known desserts, I feel like I have been eating the Chocotorta for as long as I can remember. I have eaten many versions of the cake but the one I always remember the most is the one my mother would make for us when I was a young child. It was this silky, chocolatey, dulce de lechey party on my mouth.
My mother is an amazing baker. She makes really beautiful and elaborate cakes. Family and friends are always asking her to make them cakes for all sorts of special occasions. The interesting thing is that out of all of her awesome cakes, I always want her to make the very simple Chocotorta. My mother would make the Chocotorta, and various versions of the dessert, for birthdays, holidays and many other festive occasions. I have many wonderful memories of her mixing up the dulce de leche with the cream cheese in our small kitchen in Buenos Aires. I would eagerly await to be able to lick the spoon and the mixing bowl after she was finished lathering the frosting on the cake.
I reached out to my mom to discuss making this cake for my class project as well as ask for her help in putting this recipe together. She found it interesting that, out of all of the different recipes that I could have chosen to make for this assignment, I would choose to make the Chocotorta. This very simple, no bake cake is the one thing that takes me back to being a child, eagerly hanging around the kitchen waiting for my mother to allow to finally lick the spoon and mixing bowl.
My version of the Chocotorta did not come out as pretty and delicious as the ones my mother used to make. I think it’s going to take some time for me to perfect the recipe and have it taste as good as my mother’s cake. Maybe I’ll never make it as good as her and I am truly okay with that. The upside is that I will keep eating my mother’s Chocotorta as long as she keeps making it. I will also continue to shamelessly keep calling first dibs on that spoon and mixing bowl.
So, What Goes In The Chocotorta?
Now that I have gotten your attention about how delicious this dessert is, I will discuss the ingredients that go in to the Chocotorta. In order to have as many of the original items for the cake, I drove to an Argentinian market located in the City of Redondo Beach. I was able to find the chocolate cookies, Chocolinas, and the dulce de leche made by the brand La Serenisima. La Serenisima is my preferred brand of dulce de leche and so I was very happy that they carried this brand. Unfortunately, the cream cheese made by the brand Mendicrim is no longer available, so I settled for the Lucerne brand.
For my version of the Chocotorta, I mix Kahlua in to the cups of coffee used to moisten the cookies. This gives it an extra something that was not there in the original recipe. I also sprinkle ground espresso beans in between the layers in order to balance out the sweetness from the dulce de leche.
- 16 oz. dulce de leche (La Serenisima)
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 18 oz. chocolate cookies (Chocolinas)
- 2 cup freshly brewed coffee/espresso
- 1/4 cup of Kahlua
- grounded espresso
Dulce de Leche
The most important ingredient of the Chocotorta is the dulce de leche. Without this ingredient, you are unable to have a proper Chocotorta. My preferred brand of dulce de leche is La Serenisima. I was able to locate this item from an Argentine market located in the City of Redondo Beach.
The original recipe called for Mendicrim. Mendicrim is a type of cream cheese that was made by The Mendizabal Company. Mendizabal is no longer in operation. The original recipe was purchased by the SanCor Company. Sancor currently sells a similar version of the product.
For my recipe, I was unable to obtain Mendidrin, so I utilized the Lucerne brand of cream cheese. The Lucerne cream cheese worked very well with the La Serenisima dulce de leche. I was able to locate this item at an Argentine market located in the City of Redondo Beach.
Chocolinas are simple chocolate cookies from Argentina. The cookies are not very great on their own. The cookies are chalky, dry, and leave crumbs everywhere; however, they are the perfect cookie for this recipe. I was able to locate this item at an Argentine market located in the City of Redondo Beach.
Coffee is also another very important part of this recipe. It helps balance out the sweetness of the dulce de leche. The coffee is utilized to moisten the Chocolinas before layering them into the pan. You also use the coffee grounds in between the layers of the Chocotorta. You are able to purchase this coffee at most supermarkets.
The original recipe did not include Kahlua; however, mine does. The Kahlua gives it an extra something. It makes the cake taste extra delicious. This item is available at most supermarkets.
Chocotorta is incredibly simple to make. The only ingredients needed are dulce de leche, cream cheese, chocolate biscuits, Kahlua, coffee and a sprinkling of ground espresso. Different versions of Chocotorta can be created, some use chocolate milk instead of coffee, others prefer to use heavy whipping cream, while others have their own favorite cookies to use.
- First, the dulce de Leche (I personally prefer La Serenisima) is mixed with the cream cheese in equal parts (I used 16 oz of each for this recipe) in a large bowl. I would recommend using an electric mixer until smooth. Make sure that the mixture is not lumpy. Put the frosting aside once you finish mixing.
- In a small bowl, mix the coffee with the Kahlua.
- The chocolate biscuits are then soaked in the coffee/Kahlua mix.
- Once the chocolate cookies are fully soaked, arrange them in a rectangular mold, forming a single layer, covering the entire surface of the mold.
- Next comes a layer of the dulce de leche/cream cheese combination. Make sure to slather it onto the layer of chocolate biscuits. Spread evenly with a spatula.
- Arrange another layer of the moist chocolate cookies.
- Add more of the dulce de leche spread.
- Make sure to sprinkle some of the ground espresso in between the layers.
- You should repeat this process until it reaches your preferred height.
- For garnishing, sprinkle the ground espresso over the last layer of dulce de leche.
- Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight. It is really important to refrigerate for at least 8 hours. The Chocotorta needs to set in the fridge in order for the layers to merge.
- You can substitute the coffee mix for chocolate milk, especially if you are preparing it for children.
After waiting for what seems like an eternity (8 hours), you may take the cake out of the refrigerator and cut yourself a slice of heaven. You can enjoy your piece of Chocotorta with a glass of milk, or as I do, a nice cup of espresso.
An Argentinian Classic: Chocotorta. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.elebaires.com/an-argentinian-classic-chocatorta/
Chocotorta. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tasteatlas.com/chocotorta
Chocotorta. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocotorta
Chocolinas? Forgettable: Chocotorta? Extraordinary. (2019). Retrieved from https://heated.medium.com/chocolinas-forgettable-chocotorta-extraordinary-c2a0b79242fd
Chocotorta – The Real Argentine Dessert. (2016). Retrieved from https://vamospanish.com/discover/chocotorta-the-real-argentine-dessert/