Karl Ratzsch’s Mocha Torte

Menus are time capsules of fine dining in Milwaukee


7 eggs (divided)
1 c. sugar (divided)
1 ½ c. ground walnuts
½ c. dry bread crumbs
3 T. light rum
3 T. dark rum
Chocolate Buttercream:
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 egg yolk
½ c. powdered sugar
1 t. light rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate 6 eggs. Beat the remaining whole egg, separated egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar in a large mixing bowl until very creamy and light.

In another large bowl, beat egg whites with remaining ¼ cup sugar until whites hold stiff peaks. Do not over beat until they are dry. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten whites, alternating with the walnuts and bread crumbs. Be gentle when folding the two mixtures so that the air in the whites is not eliminated during the folding process.

Divide batter among three buttered and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool on racks.

When cool, remove layers from pans and carefully cut each layer in half horizontally using a very sharp serrated knife, such as a bread knife. Mix rums together and sprinkle each layer with rum mixture.

Prepare chocolate buttercream: Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in the chocolate. In another bowl, beat egg yolk and sugar until creamy. Beat egg-sugar mixture into chocolate mixture until very light and smooth. Add rum and mix well.

Place one layer on a serving plate and cover thinly with chocolate buttercream. Cover with another layer and frost, continuing until the torte is assembled. Frost entire outside of torte.

We will seek recipes including

Köenigsberger Klops with Caper Sauce (veal and pork meatballs) and Calf Sweetbreads on Toast served under a glass bell, Chicken Croquettes served “on a pool of tasty rich cream sauce and garnished with sherbet, U.S. prime porterhouse for two including all the requisite sides, broiled African lobster tail, sauerbraten, the beef rouladen, the schnitzels.


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