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.

More Wine Country Goodies: TastingRoom’s Mini Wine Tasting Collections

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  • i got my first taste of that torte this summer…. mmmmm!

  • Omg, it looks irresistibly divine!



  • that cake, wow, that cake. amazing. i want to take lessons on how to make that cake and then devour it.

  • Oh you devil! I should not have looked at that first thing in the morning! It’s 8h40 and I want chocolate now!

  • Who doesn’t love chocolate. I take pride in being able to eat huge slices of cake, but I am not sure that I could handle that cake on my own…Give me a slice and a cold glass of milk and I’d be in heaven!


  • Everything looks good–for some reason, especially the jams!

  • I think I gained a pound from looking at the torte, haha! It looks luscious!

  • What gorgeous treats! Everything looks wonderful…I’d love to get a spoon and start with a taste of the raspberry jam! 🙂

  • That torte cake looks amazing, but with my budget I’m probably better off just going to the restaurant and getting a slice than dropping $57 for a whole cake! Yowza.

  • What jaw-dropping photos. I just love those jams and that torte, yum!

    Some of this stuff would make great Christmas gifts.
    I need to head to Napa.

  • Oh my, that is the most stunning cake! I’ve just been staring at it for a good minute! 😮

  • The box splits open for easy removal. Like that will be a problem?


  • I’m even humbled by the NAME of that cake. It’s gorgeous!

  • This is unbelievable!! 11 layers?? Fantastic

  • Waw, 11 layers in that chocolate cake,..stunning it looks: amazing too!

    I love the jams! Yum!

  • That cake looks incredible, and who wouldn’t love opening a gift box to find that! I love packaging on all these gifts. Great colors and labeling.

  • That cake looks amazing – I sense a trip to Napa in the near future.


  • Eleven layers? Woozers! I don’t want to even think about how long it takes to make that cake!

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  • I would like so much to have the recipe of this finger licking chocolate/hazulnut cake… I’m dreaming of it!

  • I tried this torte for the first time in April and it is amazing. It is worth the money. I wish I could get the recipe.

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  • I’ve had it and I know chocolate
    it was unbelievable and worth every penny
    wow, wow, wow (that’s 3 wows for you scoring at home)

  • There is a ‘link to the recipe’ which is just a link to the restaurant shop. What a disappointment!
    I saw Chef Lemoine make this cake on Barefoot Contessa and was looking forward to finding the recipe – no such luck 🙁

  • Fumiko: The link doesn’t indicate it goes to a recipe; it merely takes you to the Auberge du Soeliel site to purchase the torte.

  • I watched the video and the recipe is pretty much given there. The only thing not given was the amount of glucose and salt in the chocolate cremeux but I think you could research that out online. The video can be watched at:

  • After watching a Barefoot Contessa episode where she observes this being made, I decided to tackle it myself. I used chocolate ganache and replaced the hazelnuts with almonds. I gave it to a friend as a birthday present. After she and her friends ate it, they each texted me with moans of pleasure and said it was one of the best thing gs they had eaten – and one of her friends is known for *her* chocolate cake! I am going to make it again!

  • Jackie: That is so impressive! It must have been so much work to make that. Your friend is one lucky person!

  • Michael Teige

    I tried to make sense of the video. He you go:
    The hazelnut discs:

    In a Kitchenaid
    6 eggs whites, beat them until they have increased in volume by 3/4??
    Then with speed on low, slowly add 4oz of sugar and keep whipping until
    the merange is shiny and at the medium peak stage.
    Then take bowl off mixer and fold in 4oz of powdered sugar, 1/2 at a time.
    Then 2oz of toasted hazelnut meal and 1/2 tsp of salt.
    Then make 4 6″ rounds. Cut a 6″ hole in a 8″ cardboard round as a template to get an easy peasy perfect round
    He appeared to bake the rounds on a Silpat. You do own a Silpat right? 🙂
    Bake for 25 min on a low 200 degree oven.
    Sift a fine layer of cocoa powder when they are out of the oven. This will help keep them crunchy inside the torte.
    It was not specified to let the rounds cool before dusting them. Dunno if that will make any difference though.

    Chocolate ganache:
    I suppose you could use any ganache recipe you like, but here is what he said.
    Take one portion of chocolate. No amount or type of chocolate given. Take your best guess.
    Add glucose and salt. Again no amounts given.
    And then boil a portion of cream and pour it on top of the dry ingredients.
    Let it sit for a minute, then stir to emulsify.
    And that’s genache.
    If you are a bit brain dead like me in the pastry dept, here is Ina’s genache:

    8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

    Cook the chocolate chips, heavy cream, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.

    Here’s another from Alton Brown:
    3 tablespoons corn syrup
    6 ounces heavy cream
    12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.

    If anyone can decipher the one from the hotel in proper amounts, please let us know!

    At this point he’s layering the thing BTW.
    So the 1st hazelnut round and a scoop of the ganache in the center.
    It appeared to be a standard size ice cream scoop or a disher if you want the more pretentious name.
    How many oz, that is, I dunno. Just the usual size everyone remembers from ice cream day at home.
    His had the release/scraper lever on it. It was not one of those without it.
    Spread the ganache all over then top with a 2nd hazelnut round.

    Next up is a hazelnut puree.
    They did NOT bother to bore us with how to make it, the amounts, etc. How nice of them!
    There are loads of recipes for hazelnut butter on teh interwebs, but what he was using was a bit thin and poured and spread easily.
    The nut butter recipes I found were of a think paste consistency.
    Maybe that all it is and it was heated up?

    Next layer is the chocolate decadence cake:
    10oz of melted butter over 10oz of bittersweet chocolate.
    Swirl it around a bit then whisk it together.
    Whisk in 12oz of sugar.
    Then whisk in 7 whole eggs.
    Then 1 tsp of salt.
    Pour 9oz of the decadence goo in a 6″ ring mold that was covered with plastic wrap at the bottom and appeared to be held in place by twine.
    The ring mold was lightly sprayed with what I presume was Pam, but he didn’t specify.
    Bake them for 25 min in a water bath (he just poured water into a shallow baking tray) at 325 degrees.

    So the decadence cake goes on and a layer of the hazelnut puree, then another hazelnut round.
    Then over the top some warmed genache so it flows over the cake.

    He removed the ring by heating it with a blowtorch.
    Everyone does own a kitchen blowtorch right?
    if not, how are you making creme brulee??

    Remove the ring and place the torte on a cardboard ring for bottom support.
    Coat the sides with hazelnut crumble.
    The crumble is ground up hazelnuts that were candied with a little but of sugar.
    Did he just add sugar to the crumbled nuts?
    Was there any heat involved?
    Details people, details!

    I only count 7 layers. What this 11 layer business?

    Well there ya go. I may try it one day.

  • 11 layers – 4 hazenut wafer, 2 chocolate ganache inside, 1 for the chocolate egg thing, 2 hazelnut puree, the pourred ganache on top and either the decoration or the chopped candied hazelnuts. They weren’t obvious but there were two more wafer layers with ganache and hazelnut puree on top that Ina did.

  • Can anyone that has eaten or just seen this cake tell me how deep is the 6 inch ring that you use to build all the layers in?
    6″x 2″ or 6″ x 3″? I want to order the rings but not sure of the dimensions.

  • Foodgal you were so lucky to have eaten one, can you please enlighten me on the dimensions of the cake ring?

  • Kathy Nichols: The pastry chef of Auberge du Soleil says the torte is made with a ring pan (no bottom). The dimensions are 6″ x 1 3/4″ inches. Hope that helps!

  • Thanks for your help!

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