A quick, sweet post to kick-start your weekend about a ridiculously simple, ridiculously delicious Argentinian dessert – Chocotorta. This very popular dulce de leche-spiked, layered dessert reminds me a bit of tiramisu with an Argentine twist. What could be more Argentinian than dulce de leche? When Joan of Foodalogue revisited her Culinary Tour food event (which I love, by the way) to represent South America, I looked at the list and saw Argentina and thought about all the Argentinian specialities we still wanted to make for the blog. We had done so many Argentine posts before (including locro, milanesas, choripan and the ubiquitous parilla delicacies), but never anything sweet. With the deadline looming, I quickly did what I could to recreate the fabulous, famous Chocotorta. It’s not perfect, but it sure was delicious.
Just like any famous American desserts, the Chocotorta can be made in a variety of ways. It seems as though different families make it different ways. Two things that are constant in every family’s recipe are chocolate wafer cookies or biscuits and dulce de leche. Some soak their cookies/biscuits in coffee before they begin to layer, others soak it in milk, cafe con leche or even sweet wine. Many use a mixture of only cream cheese and dulce de leche for the filling while others use whipped cream or a mixture of whipped and cream cheese. Some top their chocotorta with icing, chocolate or dulce de leche and others just top it with a final layer of cookies/biscuit. I take all these variations as a “freedom of choice” – be creative and make your chocotorta the way you want to!
Unfortunately, I had to “wing it” on the chocolate biscuit front because there were only a limited type at my grocery store. Traditionally, the Argentines use the rectangular Chocolinas to do their layering. I used the circular Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies (which, after some research are sometimes difficult to find in stores…strange) and even had to throw in a layer of Goya Maria Cookies because I was desperate and ran out of the others (don’t kill me over lack of authenticity, please!). The final result ended up pretty because of the circular cookies and, because I let the flavors meld together for a day, it held together very well and tasted fabulous.
This is most definitely a dessert anyone can make, even someone like me who CAN NOT BAKE. If you can dip, stir and layer, you’re good to go. This recipe probably makes more filling than you need. Do what I did and store it in the freezer for a day when you either want to make another one or (like me) feel like grabbing a spoon and having filling for dessert.
- 50 to 60 chocolate cookies or biscuits (Goya and Nabisco have good ones or you could make your own)
- 1 cup of espresso or coffee
- 1 cup of dulce de leche or make your own (more if you like! do a taste test!)
- 1 1/2 cup of cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup whipped cream
- plastic wrap
- Start by lining a square or rectangular pan with plastic wrap, leaving about 8 inches extra on each side. Run another going up and down, again leaving 8 inches extra on each side. You are going to use these extra “flaps” to wrap the Chocotorta up.
- In a bowl, whip the cream cheese with the dulce de leche. Use a spatula to fold them in together or a hand mixer to whip them together. Fold in the whipped cream until it is all mixed together.
- Now let’s start assembling! Soak each cookie/biscuit in coffee and then start your first layer on the plastic wrap in the pan. After you have created the first layer “bottom” of biscuits, spread the dulce de leche mixture over it, covering it completely. Continue this process layer after layer: soaking each cookie in coffee, creating a layer of cookies, then spreading the dulce de leche mixture over it. Make sure you have at least 4 layers, or go higher if you so dare.
- When you are finished layering, add your final layer of cookies/biscuit and then wrap the plastic warp tightly over it and place your labor of love in the fridge. Allow to sit, untouched, for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. Slice and enjoy!