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Chez Michel's Unforgettable Chocolate Torte

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LRicardo Mar 4, 2012 03:52 PM

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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    jackieinpaso Apr 6, 2012 03:07 PM

    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
      Robert Lauriston Apr 6, 2012 03:20 PM

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

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        j
        jackieinpaso Apr 6, 2012 03:44 PM

        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
          Robert Lauriston Apr 6, 2012 04:02 PM

          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. l
      LRicardo Mar 6, 2012 04:27 PM

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

      9 Replies
      1. re: LRicardo
        Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2012 04:42 PM

        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
          l
          LRicardo Mar 6, 2012 04:51 PM

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

          1. re: LRicardo
            wolfe Mar 6, 2012 05:04 PM

            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
              l
              LRicardo Mar 6, 2012 05:57 PM

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

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

              1. re: LRicardo
                wolfe Mar 6, 2012 06:42 PM

                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
                http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1613,...

                1. re: wolfe
                  l
                  LRicardo Mar 6, 2012 07:14 PM

                  oooh, thank you!

                  1. re: LRicardo
                    Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2012 07:23 PM

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

                    http://www.pagespak.com/vr-recipe-135...

        2. re: LRicardo
          Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2012 06:25 PM

          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. http://www.acf-usa.org/chef-roberto-g...

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            l
            LRicardo Mar 6, 2012 07:22 PM

            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.

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