Sara’s Kitchen: Parcel Torte (Three Rivers Cookbook)

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We chose a low-key Valentine’s Day dinner in this year. First Andy offered to cook, but then I suggested we cook together — and then I basically stole the whole plan and kicked him out of the kitchen.

My menu included Pork Tenderloin with Orange and Fennel and roasted potatoes. I served a simple greens salad to start (made my own dressing: avocado oil, Braggs apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper).

I hadn’t planned dessert; it’s not my forte (who has time for that?), and even mentioned to Andy about picking up something.

Instead, I ended up on the phone with my mom during the week who said, “Do you have the Three Rivers Cookbook? You should make that parcel torte. It’s easy, but it’ll seem like you spent all day in the kitchen.”

parcel torte

I was already at the grocery store, so we tried to find the recipe online — tough, but we eventually did find it at the bottom of this Post-Gazette article noting the cookbook’s 40th anniversary from a few years ago. There are just four ingredients, plus whipped cream  — I didn’t bother to read the instructions.

Once I started the process, googling “how to beat egg whites” and “how to fold in egg whites” I was sure I was going to screw this up. Mom didn’t mention all of this egg white nonsense!

However, by some miracle, despite whatever standards the Internet would hold you to your egg white beating process — this was terrific. Would’ve been even better with homemade whipped cream — but I’ll let you guys handle that.

Parcel Torte
from the Three Rivers Cookbook, shared here

  • 7 ounces Baker’s semisweet chocolate
  • 1 stick butter
  • 7 ounces sugar
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 7 egg whites
  • Chocolate shavings (I used a vegetable peeler)
  • Sweet whipped cream (I used Reddi Whip; would be best with homemade)

Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and egg yolks, and beat for 3 minutes at high speed.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (add a little sugar to help hold peaks).

Fold egg whites slowly into the chocolate batter with a spatula.

Pour only 3⁄4 of the batter into an ungreased 8-inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes.

Let torte cool and fall. Then run knife around edge and remove frame.

Pour the remaining uncooked batter over the top and chill.

Garnish with the chocolate shavings and serve with whipped cream.

Pour: I paired this with The Vineyard at Hershey’s Blackberry Portrait, a nice jammy addition to the rich chocolate flavor. For even more chocolatey flavor, try The Vineyard at Hershey’s Cocoa di Vezzetti, a merlot-based chocolate dessert wine.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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