Presenting Auberge du Soleil’s Torte au Chocolat

The magnificent, but pricey, Torte au Chocolat.

There are 11 layers in this showstopping cake made by the Michelin-starred Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley.

That’s layer upon layer of crisp hazelnut dacquoise, chocolate cremeux, pureed organic hazelnuts and dark chocolate ganache. It’s crunchy, nutty, densely rich and oh-so luxe tasting. The signature creation of renowned Pastry Chef Paul Lemieux, it comes packaged in a novel round gift box that splits open for easy removal of the cake.

How cool is this packaging?

This beauty, which can serve 6 to 8, can be yours — or that of a well-deserving friend or family member — for $57.50.

If that’s a little too rich for your pocketbook, you’ll be glad to know that the resort has added some more affordable items to its line of “Sweets from Soleil.” Recently, I had a chance to try samples of this glam cake and the newest sweet treats.

Pâte de Petits Fruits (16 for $32.50) are precious sugared squares of fresh raspberry, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry puree. The fruit jellies are the same ones diners enjoy at the end of their meal at the restaurant.

Chocolate-covered organic almonds.

Organic California almonds are enrobed first in dark chocolate, then in cocoa for luxurious Amandes au Chocolat (a six-ounce tin is $17.50). And Confiture de Framboises et Mûres are packaged in a keepsake box –- with one jar each of lovely raspberry and blackberry jam ($27.50).

A duo of jams.

All items are available for pick up at the Auberge du Soleil resort, by mail-order on the resort’s Web site or by calling (800) 348-5406.

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