Mama Turilli’s chocolate torte

Mama Turilli’s chocolate torte

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • 30–40 minutes
  • Boplaas Cape Vintage (Port)

“This torte is made in the Turilli family for every occasion.”


  • For the drunken pears:
  • 4 Forelle pears
  • 3 cups Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups water
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 strips lemon peel
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • For the chocolate torte:
  • 225 g salted butter
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • 3 T cocoa
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 T dark rum

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the pears, peel, halve and core them using a melon baller.

2. Place the wine, water, sugar, cinnamon and citrus peel into a large, heavy-based saucepan.

3. Carefully place the pears into the saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer for 30 minutes. The pears will take on the ruby hue of the wine and the syrup will thicken and smell fragrant. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4. To make the chocolate torte, preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the butter into a heavy-based saucepan. Allow it to melt and bubble over a medium heat. Turn off the heat and submerge the chocolate in the butter. Allow to stand for a few minutes without stirring.

5. Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth and glossy, then sift in the cocoa and stir.

6. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and pale in colour. Gently fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture in three stages, taking care not to overmix. Pour into a greased 20 cm springform cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes until the top forms a crackly crust. Allow to cool in the tin, then remove from the tin and place on a plate.

7. When ready to serve, carefully place the pears and some of the syrup on top of the torte.

Cook’s note: If you like, omit the rum or replace it with a shot of espresso. The torte is delicious warm with a scoop of gelato.

Find more chocolate recipes here.

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Food assistant: Bianca Strydom

The Turilli family Recipe by: The Turilli family
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The Turilli family own Lello’s, a neighbourhood deli in Cape Town. They are always eating, talking about, and discovering excellent food and ingredients. The family consist of Ricky, seasoned restaurateur and proprietor of Scarpetta in Woodstock. Melissa, baker of classic Italian desserts. And now, the next generation: food stylist Chiara and her brother, fashion photographer Dani (Danillo), who are the team behind Lello’s Deli.

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