Travel with me to Latin America for Argentina’s Chocotorta Dessert combining chocolate wafer cookies, Kahlua laced coffee, cream cheese, and dulce de leche.
The theme for this month’s Progressive Eats is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine and is hosted by Tamara, the author behind the blog ‘Beyond Mere Sustenance’ and who is a lover of all things Latin American. She just returned recently from an amazing trip to Peru so I thought it would be behoove me to make Argentina’s Chocotorta Dessert…I was determined to find something Beyond Mere Mexico!
The one thing I loved about Argentina’s Chocotorta Dessert was finding that it is not a tourist specialty. It is renown in Argentina but hard to find as it’s something most home cooks make but few restaurants provide to patrons. I thought it a fun dessert to share and it’s so easy; just a couple of ingredients and you’re on your way.
As I was making the dessert and creating the layers, it reminded me very much of the process of making Tiramisu; the coffee soaked cookies, the layering of them with a rich concoction and the finish with chocolate curls or a dusting of cocoa.
I was not totally surprised when I searched for a history of the dessert to discover that it was created in 1982 by one Maite Madragaña who was tasked with creating a recipe that would promote three different brands. Chocolinas chocolate cookies, the cream cheese brand Mendicrim and Argentine style dulce de leche.
Using her knowledge of Italian desserts, she riffed off the popular Italian tiramisu to create a no-cook cake using all three ingredients.
I stuck to my standard brand of cream cheese and made my own dulce de leche but I did take the time to resource the Chocolinas cookies. Their rectangular shape is preferable too; doing this with round chocolate wafers would have been my second choice and I choose to ignore suggestions to use Oreos. No thanks…I REALLY wanted something authentic and Chocolina cookies it was (thanks Amazon!). They are nice and crisp and held up well to soaking in the Kahlua laced coffee. Perfect.
I did find that this recipe varies widely by cooks all over. Some use whipped cream, some put a layer of chocolate ganache on top. Others have obvious Oreos because you can see the layer of white frosting between the two chocolate layers and some recipes use chocolate milk in lieu of coffee. Admittedly the addition of Kahlua was my thing…hey it’s made in Mexico!
Many suggested hours of refrigeration before serving but I choose to freeze mine and am so glad I did; the photos I saw of several versions were so messy; freezing the cake made for a much neater slice.
As I mentioned I did decide to make my own dulce de leche. I tried something new too; using my Instant Pot! I scraped all of the Sweetened Condensed Milk into a canning jar and tightened the lid like I would for canning, just til it catches, no more. Place on a rack, fill with water to about an inch from the top of the jar and it was so easy; 45 minutes at high pressure and then 15 minutes of natural release. It is HOT HOT HOT so caution if you try this method. Don’t be like Barb; make it the night before and let it sit out and cool.
I used my friend Susan’s recipe for Instant Pot Dulce de Leche but you can also find ways to make it in a pan or slow cooker or buy a prepared jar at the grocery store. I used Eagle Brand which is a 14 oz can and then combined all of it with the cream cheese. Decadent to be sure!
It is so rich and indulgent; I honestly think that slice I’ve featured could be half as big. I love that it is not a teeth aching super sweet type of dessert. The cream cheese adds a nice tang and balance to this Argentinian treat. I’m so glad I traveled to Argentina; the Chocotorta Dessert was remarkably easy and something I’m delighted to have in my repertoire!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Late Summer Latin American Cuisine – casual warm weather fare – salads, grilled foods, summer cocktails, and our host is Tamara who blogs at Beyond Mere Sustenance.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we’ve put together for our celebration inspired dishes!
Late Summer Latin American Cuisine!
- Brazilian Caipirinha Cocktail – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy Peruvian Pisco Sour Cocktail – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Citrus Chicken with Spicy Basil Chimichurri – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Steak Adobo Tacos – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Citrus-Marinated Pork Chops with Hatch Chile – Beyond Mere Sustenance
- Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots – Shockingly Delicious
- Venezuelan-Style Black Beans (Caraotas Negras) – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Easy Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice – The Heritage Cook
- Easy Tres Leches Cake – Clandestine Cake Club
- Argentina’s Chocotorta Dessert – Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
PIN ‘Argentina’s Chocotorta Dessert’
- 14-16 ounces dulce de leche
- 2 8 oz boxes of cream cheese, softened
- 2-3 packs of chocolate cookies (I used about 2.5 packages of the Chocolinas)
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 2 Tbsp Kahlua
- Cocoa or chocolate bar for chocolate curls
- Cream the softened cream cheese with a mixer until light; add the dulce de leche and beat on medium for 2 minutes until light.
- Prepare an 8X8" baking pan; cut parchment paper into to long pieces to fit and hang over the sides.
- Combine the brewed coffee with Kahlua and pour some in a shallow dish. Submerge each cookie one by one in the coffee then layer them in the baking dish until the bottom is fully covered. You might have to break cookies to get a perfect fit.
- On top of the layer of cookies, spoon about a third of the cream cheese mixture over it and spread it evenly. Top that with another layer of coffee soaked cookies; continue to layer and end with the cream cheese mixture on top.
- Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder or chocolate curls. Freeze for at least two hours, remove from freezer to serve. Peel off parchment paper carefully and place on a serving plate.
- Dip a large knife in warm water to cut easily.
Traditional Argentinian recipes use Chocolatina Cookies available at Amazon.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 290 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 193mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g