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Mar 4, 2012 03:52 PM

Chez Michel's Unforgettable Chocolate Torte

When I was a child in the seventies, I remember being taken to Chez Michel on occasion. I loved their food, but more than anything, I have never been able to forget their chocolate torte! It was light and chocolate-y and have been craving it for years. I am looking for a recipe but do not remember exactly what the dessert was called. Was it a torte? Maybe a Bavarian Torte? Does anyone know what I am talking about and the name of the dessert so that I can look for a recipe? Was there ever a Chez Michel cookbook?

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  1. Anyone?
    Maybe I should rename this thread...

    9 Replies
    1. re: LRicardo

      Chez Michel was one of the restaurants in The Great Chefs of San Francisco cookbook. I'll take a look and see what dessert(s) it includes.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thank you, Robert. I've since moved overseas and do not have easy access to U.S. cookbooks.

        1. re: LRicardo

          I'm afraid the Chez Michel contribution was not what you wanted.
          (Hazelnut biscuit topped with buttercream and chocolate mousse.) Source: Great Chefs of San Francisco, Avon Books, 1984 Chef: Roberto Gerometta, Chez Michel, San Francisco, CA

          1. re: wolfe

            Very kind of you to look it up for me. Thanks!

            Wondering if anyone remembers what I'm talking about...

            1. re: LRicardo

              Here's the biscuit now all you need is a Grand Marnier souffle recipe.
              "Progres with Grand Marnier I (Biscuit)"
              ------------------------------BISCUIT NOISETTE------------------------------ 6 lg Egg whites

              1 pn Salt

              1 oz Juice, lemon

              1 oz Sugar

              1 oz Flour

              5 oz Hazelnuts, finely ground

              5 oz Sugar

              Biscuit Noisette: ================= Put the egg whites into a blender with salt and lemon juice. Add 1 ounce of sugar to the egg whites while blending.

              In a separate bowl, blend the flour, 5 ounces of sugar and ground hazelnuts. Add beaten egg whites to bowl with hazelnut/sugar mixture and fold in with a spatula. Butter the bottom of a baking sheet, cover with buttered parchment paper. Pour biscuit dough on parchment and place in 475 F over for 5 minutes, rotating pan often. When cooked, cool in the refrigerator. Set aside for use in the rest of the Progres with Grand Marnier recipe. Source: Great Chefs of San Francisco, Avon Books, 1984 Chef: Roberto Gerometta, Chez Michel, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: LRicardo

                  You can get the whole thing on one page if that's what you're looking for:


      2. re: LRicardo

        The recipe in the book is Progrès with Grand Marnier, which is a hazelnut torte, soaked with Grand Marnier syrup, filled with a chocolate-Grand Marnier mousse, and topped with chocolate cream. Unfortunately there's no photo. Does that sound anything like what you remember?

        If not, you could write to Gerometta and ask.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Not quite what I remember. What I'm remembering is a torte with no nuts and a chocolate mousse without or with very little liqueur. Possibly topped with chocolate cream, maybe not. Wow, thank you for the link, I appreciate it.

      3. Ah, I remember it well--the billowing tented ceiling, Michel Elkaim dripping with charm and yes, the chocolate cake. I think they called it Chocolate Truffle Cake. I never went to SF without a visit to Chez Michel (last time in 1981) and always had that cake.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jackieinpaso

          Their chocolate truffle cake was dense, like a Gâteau Victoire.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I'm sure that's the cake I remember but hey, it was 30 years ago. Just did some searching and saw that sadly, Michel Elkaim died in December. Perhaps the secret went with him...

            1. re: jackieinpaso

              They were known for their chocolate truffle cake, but what's described in the opening post sounds like something else.

              Elkaim was the owner. Roberto Gerometta was the chef.

        2. See if you can locate Swiss chef Max Sacher in Sonoma.
          He will have the recipe.

          1 Reply
          1. re: romnsh

            Thanks, romnsh. For some reason I am just now seeing some of the posts. Thanks to Robert and jackiinpaso, your description really brings back memories...