Ukrainian Torte “Ira” – Recipe
This torte recipe was passed on to our family by our cousin Ira (Eera), from Ukraine, hence the name “Torte Ira”.
The filling for this torte is quite different, since it uses a rather non-traditional main ingredient.
Most torte fillings are made mainly with butter, powdered sugar, chocolate or cocoa, plus various flavor enhancers.
This filling uses it’s share of butter, and much less sugar than most, but the bulk of the filling is made out of cooked Cream of Wheat.
You would never guess that Cream of Wheat is the main ingredient of this filling, by just tasting it, because it is very creamy and light, despite the amount of butter it contains.
This torte is best refrigerated, to keep its ideal texture, thus suitable mostly as an after dinner dessert, rather than a party dessert, requiring an extended exposure to room temperature.
- 4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate (4- 1 oz squares), melted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all purpose white flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 Tbs Cream of Wheat
- 1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks), room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbs alcohol (brandy, liquor, cognac, whiskey), or your favorite extract
- 8 oz semi-sweet baker's chocolate (8 - 1 oz squares)
- 4 Tbs whole milk, or heavy cream for whipping
- In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate and butter.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and cool.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with salt, until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar and beat a couple of minutes longer.
- Fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Add sifted flour, and blend it in well.
- Grease a lightly flour, a 9 x 13 x 2 sheet cake pan.
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
- Pour the torte batter into the prepared pan.
- Place on a middle oven rack, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Use a 2 quart sauce pan.
- Add milk and Cream of Wheat, and bring to boil.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom and burn.
- Set aside to cool off.
- In a medium bowl, add softened butter, juice and extract.
- Mix to blend well.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, until creamy.
- Add cooled Cream of Wheat, and mix to blend all well together.
- Spread filling over the cooled cake.
- Set aside.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate.
- Add milk, and incorporate into the melted chocolate.
- Remove from heat, and pour over the filling.
- Smooth out with the back of a spoon, for smooth, even finish.
- Cool in the refrigerator, until it begins to firm up.
- Remove from the fridge, and pre-cut through the chocolate icing, to form serving pieces. This will ease the final cutting to serving pieces later on, once the chocolate fully cools and hardens.
- Cover, and keep in the fridge at least over night.
- Just before serving, cut through the filling and the cake, place on a serving platter, and serve.
This cake feels a little dense and on a drier side, but the moisture from the Cream of Wheat filling will seep down into it to add moisture to the cake. For best results keep it refrigerated until serving time.