Tortul de Ciocolată din România {Romanian Chocolate Layer Cake}

Hi friends! *waves* This summer has been crazy and, for the majority of it, I haven’t even been home, so From Dill to Dracula has taken a hit. That being said, I have a lot of fun blog posts coming your way, and I’d like to kick it off with a series: My Cousin’s Cookie Collection.

Growing up, us four cousins on my dad’s side each had a cookie recipe named after each other. This recipe was always  called Heather’s Cookies, so named after my eldest cousin. Of course, the downside to this is that  I don’t have an official name for these cookies—lost in years and with age. And even though I’ve tried scouring the internet (and Pinterest) to find the proper name, I’ve come up empty handed.

Because this recipe uses biscuits, the only recipes that tended to come up were similar to my Salam de Biscuiti recipe, but this one is still… different. The addition of coffee (the instant variety) and a layering of cream to biscuit make it more of a cake than a cookie (even though that’s how we referred to them as kids).

Since I couldn’t very well title the recipe Heather’s Cookies, the best descriptor for this recipe I could come up with was Romanian Chocolate Layer Cake, or tortul de ciocolată din România (pronounced tour-tulle day ch-oh-k-oh-lah-tah dean Rome-ah-knee-ah).

This recipe is one of many I received from my grandmother in Romanian, and have since had my mom translate for me. Trying to translate recipes myself hasn’t gone so well in the past. Case in point:

(Shameless plug: If you don’t follow me on Twitter, please do!)

But I digress. It’s time for some food, right?

My husband likened this to a chocolate lasagna mixed with the texture of a tiramisu, and he’s pretty accurate on both counts. The layers of biscuit and cream are a lot like a traditional Italian lasagna, and because the biscuits are so porous, they absorb some of the cream and become soft, cakey bites. Yum! Enough talking. It’s time for some food, right?

Since there are four cousins, this will be the first of four recipes in my Cousin’s Cookies Collection. They’ll be posted in the order of the cousin’s age, so stay tuned for my very own cookies (“Ashley’s Cookies“) next!

↓ Recipe below ↓

—But first, some pretty pictures—

Chocolaty buttery ooey-gooey goodness.

Did you know ogres are like Tortul de Ciocolată din România? They have layers, too.
Or so I’m told.

Print Recipe
Tortul de Ciocolată din România {Romanian Chocolate Layer Cake}
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
inch pan
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
inch pan
  1. In the microwave, heat water in a small bowl and then dissolve the instant coffee.
  2. With an electric mixer or hand mixer, whip together butter and granulated sugar until well combined and creamy.
  3. Add in the cocoa powder and dissolved instant coffee to the mixer and combine.

    Note: If you'd like a darker colored cream, add in 2 additional tbsp of cocoa powder.
  4. At this point, the cream should be easily spreadable. If it's too thick, mix in milk by the tablespoon until a good consistency.
  5. To begin compiling the cake, heat 1/2 cup milk in the microwave for approximately half a minute.
  6. Line an 8" pan with aluminum foil.

    You can use any sized pan, but please note that it'll change how many biscuits and cream you'll need to complete the recipe.
  7. Dip one side of the biscuit cookie into the warm milk, leaving the other side dry. Place dry side down into the dish. Repeat process until the entire bottom of the dish is covered.

    Note: Biscuits can overlap one another if they're not a perfect fit for your pan.
  8. Add a thin layer of cream mixture over cookies from corner to corner, edge to edge.
  9. Repeat steps seven and eight until you've made six layers of biscuit. You should end with a layer biscuits on top. If you have enough cream to finish with a layer on top of the biscuits, you can do so. I prefer ending with biscuit because it makes it easier (and less messy) to eat.
  10. Refrigerator for at least two hours, or until the cream looks like it has set.
  11. Cut into long and narrow pieces ("cookies") and serve. Se bucura/enjoy!
  12. To store: Keep wrapped in aluminum foil in the fridge. The cream will begin to melt if left out for too long, but good luck keeping it around long enough to require storing 😉
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