Chocolate Ganache Torte

Over-the-top rich chocolate ganache torte recipe with up to two pounds of chocolate, a stick of butter and a cup of cream. Also called Death-By-Chocolate.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 20


The Shell

  • One box “Nabisco’s Famous” chocolate wafers, or your favorite chocolate nut cookies
  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • Melted butter (1/4 cup or less)
  • 9 inch spring-form pan

The Filling

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of the best available semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, well chopped into small pieces (use brick chocolate, not chips)
  • More melted butter (up to one stick or 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup (or more) heavy whipping cream

The Sauce

  • Melted butter (one stick, a 1/2 cup, or a bit more)
  • Cane sugar (a pound or less)
  • Heavy whipping cream (1 cup - or more)


1 Prepare the crust. Chop/process the wafers and pecans until fine, add enough melted butter to press this into the spring-form pan (along the bottom and halfway up the sides). Bake in oven at 350°F for 20 minutes, put aside.

2 While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In double boiler melt the butter and then add the chocolate. When chocolate is swirl-able, slowly add the whipping cream, stirring slowly, until mixture is blended and smooth. Pour mixture into the prepared shell. Refrigerate for at least four hours.

3 Prepare the sauce before serving (the sauce, served warm, should accompany the torte, served cold.) Melt butter over fairly high heat. Add sugar until saturated (the heat must be high enough for the sugar to dissolve; when no more will dissolve, the solution is saturated). Stirring only occasionally, let the mixture “burn” just enough to turn into a rich caramel. Add the cream, stirring briskly until well blended and smooth. Strain if necessary for smoothness.

One nine-inch torte has been known to serve twenty adults, so be careful...

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  • Matthew W

    I made this tonight but left out the topping. Overall very easy to make and tastes amazing. I did however use dark melting chocolate and the result was nice. Very rich, very decadent but if you in anyway watching your health or weight…may want to stay away from this one.

  • ciaochowlinda

    Oh my goodness. This looks sinfully decadent and wonderful. Why do all fabulous foods have to be fattening?

  • jkh

    Question: is melting chocolate different than regular chocolate? If I used high end dark chocolate (70 or 85%) would that work?

  • jonathan

    “1 1/2 to 2 pounds of the best available melting chocolate” ?
    You sure that’s enough? Might be a little light… ;^)

  • Tres Amie

    It’s a truffle in a crust! With butter!!

  • Yassy

    I was just looking for desert recipe for our upcoming wedding anniversary and,your cake pictures look awesome.I think I will make your cake for our wed anniversary. I hope I make as good as you did:-P

    When you go to whole Foods,you find very thick chocolate. Thick chocolate like this and usual baking chocolate bars you can find at grocery stores,which ones do you recommend to use? I have never bought thick chocolate so,I do not know the taste difference.

    I like dark chocolate so I usually buy a high quality dark baking chocolate. Hershey’s has a premium brand. Trader Joe’s has a good house brand. Most people who cook with chocolate have their favorites. ~Elise

  • Garrett

    To ciaochowlinda: Biologically were wired to love fat and sugar as sources of energy so we could survive the harsh natural world. As we no longer live in that situation, the wiring doesn’t quite apply anymore. Basically we’re all screwed. Do as I do: give in, accept it, and love the goodness that is chocolate torte. ;)

  • Anna

    Mmmm, I’ll try this with a nut and butter crust, without the cookies (need to be gluten-free). Not so sure about the sauce, either, with so much sugar. Aside from the health issues, too much sugar is too cloying and sort of disgusting when one is no longer addicted to it.

    The way I see it, this could be nearly morphed into a “health food” dessert like good dark chocolate truffles, with a grain-free nut crust, less sugary sauce (or no sauce), and all that cream and butter (I’d choose grass-fed, of course), not to mention good dark chocolate.

    Yes, I do consider grass-fed butter and cream a health food, as they are low in casein (a mik protein that can trigger inappropriate immune response) and a rich source of fat soluble Vit K2 (found in animal fats and some fermented/cultured foods), which is an important co-factor for absorbing calcium. Vit K2 also is important to place calcium where it should go (the bones and teeth) and preventing it from depositing it inappropriately (in joints, kidneys, and arteries). As butter and cream consumption goes down, so does health….

  • Anna G

    Soooo if i omit the sauce, sugar and flour are then not an ingredient and this becomes a really Healthy dessert :)

    At least that is what *I* will be thinking!

    My mother’s mantra when it comes to most things is “moderation”. I would prefer to have a thin slice of this cake as written, than to omit anything. I simply do not justify it or worry about it. Just don’t eat the whole darn cake. That I think would put one in the hospital. ~Elise

  • Simone (junglefrog)

    This looks absolutely amazing and brought back memories of my visit to Canada where they have a store called “Death by Chocolate” which serves – as you can tell – the most decadent desserts ever! We went there only once and had the dessert instead of our evening meal… :) You simply can’t have both! I love your cake… Looks totally delicious!

  • Anna

    Thanks Elise! Date night w/ the husband this week – He’s going to love it! He’s not a fan of caramel, but I think I might add some chopped candied macadamias to the top. Thanks again!!

  • Hannah

    This is very similar to a recipe that I make that comes from a Williams & Sonoma Cookbook.
    It’s a flourless chocolate torte without a shell, with a chocolate ganache over the top, just like this one. I chill it when it’s done, so that ganache hardens. I serve with a tart raspberry coulis over the top. TO DIE FOR! =) This looks very delicious as well!

  • Shelly

    Wow…I really wish I hadn’t looked at this! I’m already starving…and now, I’m starving for CHOCOLATE!

    Looks fantastic…I am definitely going to try this one. Thanks for helping me keep up my girlish figure! ;)

  • Doreen

    Message to Elise – I’m in Montreal, Canada – what is the equivalent for sugar cane ; not sure we have this labeled as such. Tks

    Cane sugar is granulated white sugar made from sugar cane. I think most granulated sugar available these days, esp in Canada, comes from beets. If you can find cane sugar (C&H is a standard brand for cane sugar) use it, if not, granulated sugar from beets will do. If your packaging does not distinguish, just use granulated white sugar. ~Elise

  • Kate

    I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was as good as it sounded. I didn’t make the topping because by the time dessert was served I had had too much wine! But it was still amazing – even better with coffee the next morning.

  • brandi

    omg…this was amazing. I made it last night for my nephew and he loved it.

  • Esther

    I made this recipe last Saturday for our church pot luck. I used dark chocolate, it turned out quite well.

  • Jill

    I’m going to make this for a baby shower and I can’t wait. But I just bought bittersweet chocolate for the ganache and then realized that the recipe does not call for adding sugar. Will it be too bitter? Should I use a different chocolate? Thank you!

    Have a taste of the bittersweet chocolate. If it is too bitter for you then you need semi-sweet. Personally I love bittersweet chocolate. ~Elise

  • Rodney


    made this Thursday night as a test, I wanted to make sure that it would come out right for a birthday next weekend. What a deliciously rich and decadant treat. I wound up using a cinnamon spice cookie instead of a chocolate cookie, and this turned out wonderfully.

  • robin

    I love chocolate desserts. I think I fell in love with this ganache. Thanks for the fabulous recipe.

  • Mark

    This does look pretty good. However, the recipe does not show any chocolate in the sauce. This cannot be correct. Can you please clarify?

    The chocolate is in the filling. The sauce is a caramel sauce. ~Elise

  • Joanne

    I tried this last night, it was AMAZING. It looked exactly like the picture. The only thing I changed was the ganache, because I could not find the sugar cane and I found this ganache online: 5 oz of semi-chocolate and 5 oz of cream and melt them together and wait until cool and pour over the cake. Everyone loved it.

  • Kristian

    Do you think it will be alright if I use half bittersweet and half semi-sweet?? Also I’ve decided to use a white chocolate sauce on top since half of my family doesn’t like caramel.

    Sure, have fun with it. ~Elise

  • Christopher

    Very deadly and exceedingly tasty. I have tried using full on dark chocolate and was over powered by the cocoa unfortunately. I have found 2/3 milk chocolate 1/3 dark chocolate a fantastic mix though. Am going to try 1/2 of each at some point to see if that cuts it enough. Hardly ever use the topping and the crust I substitute mr christies rainbow chip cookies, and I use coconut cream rather than heavy cream. all in all a dessert that no one can put down and always wants more of regardless of its waist expanding possibilities.

  • Sammi

    Sorry, if I missed it, but do I bake the filling at all? I can see that I bake the crust?
    thank you!