Starry Night Cake
Prep time
Cook time
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This wonderful Chocolate Apricot Pecan Torte is transformed into “Starry Night” elegance with a rich chocolate glaze adorned with shimmering gold and silver stars
Recipe type: Dessert | Cake
Serves: 10 to 12
Fondant Stars:
  • Small amount of rolled fondant
  • Various sizes of star shaped cookie cutters
  • Any clear alcohol such as vodka or gin or kirschwasser
  • Gold and Silver Luster dust
  • Small artist paintbrush
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 6 ounces (about ¾ cup) semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Gold and Silver Dragees
Prepare Chocolate Apricot Pecan Torte. Let cool completely before glazing and decorating. If time allows it is best to make the Torte ahead and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight tightly covered. The Torte can also be made up to 2 weeks ahead, tightly wrapped and frozen, then thaw before ready to decorate.
Fondant Stars:
  1. Roll the fondant about ⅛ inch thick and cut out 15 to 20 various size stars using the star shaped cookie cutters. In a small dish stir a small amount of clear alcohol and gold luster dust together; use this mixture to paint the top of about half the stars using the small artist paintbrush. In a separate small dish stir a small amount of clear alcohol and silver luster dust together and paint the tops of the remaining stars. Set stars aside to dry at room temperature until ready to use. Tip: The fondant stars can be made several days in advance.
Chocolate Glaze:
  1. In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt semisweet chocolate. Or, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, use 50% power and stir frequently just until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat as chocolate will burn easily. Set aside to cool slightly. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan over medium low heat, heat the whipping cream, butter, and corn syrup until the butter is melted and the mixture it is hot and just beginning to steam. Remove from heat and pour over the melted chocolate, whisking or stirring until mixture is completely smooth.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture into a pitcher, or liquid measuring cup with a pouring spout and let chocolate glaze cool for 10 minutes or cool to approximately 100 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Do not let the glaze sit longer because it will thicken and become difficult to pour over the cake.
  4. Place the Torte on a wire cooling rack and set on a rimmed baking sheet or place wax or parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch drips.
  5. Pour or ladle the glaze around the top edge of the cake, allowing the glaze to run down the sides. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze around the sides if necessary to cover completely. Pour the remaining glaze on top and use the offset spatula to gently spread the glaze to cover the entire cake. Tip: If the glaze doesn’t flow easily it means it has cooled and thickened too much. Either slightly reheat the glaze in a saucepan over low heat, or add an extra one or two tablespoons of corn syrup.
  1. Before the glaze has set, press chocolate sprinkles around the bottom sides of the cake. Transfer torte to a cake plate. Arrange the stars on to top of the cake in an arc. Sprinkle dragees over the stars. Let the torte sit until the glaze is set.
Source: Hansen Kaye and Liv Hansen, The Whimsical Bakehouse, Clarkson Potter, New York, 2002
Recipe Notes
Pan Prep: Parchment Paper, Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Tightly Covered, Room Temperature or Refrigerate

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