I'm trying to be a better friend to berries.
All too often I withdraw a moldy berry basket from the fridge shelf. Frowning, I ask myself "didn't I buy these just 2 days ago?" And then I remember it was more like 7, and then I recall the berry tart recipe I was supposed to make but then abandoned because it no longer felt special to me.
Fresh produce will suffer at the hands of a fickle baker.
I'm trying to do better, so last week's flavor will make a repeat appearance this week. And since undertaking this effort I've learned that you should never, ever pass up the opportunity to stew raspberries on the stove top. It's a kind of aromatherapy that cannot be bottled and sold.
If you're new to making chocolate curls, I have a short instructional video here. Or you can use chocolate shavings as a substitute; all you need is a vegetable peeler and a bar of chocolate. Chocolate shavings will melt easily in your hands, so stick them in the freezer for a few minutes before you coat the sides of the cake with them.
This might be my new favorite way to eat chocolate cake.
Chocolate-Raspberry Bavarian Torte
Yield: One 9-inch torte [click for printable version]
Adapted from Godiva Chocolatier
You'll need one 8-inch cake pan and one 9-inch by 3-inch spring-form pan to make this torte.
3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
- In a heat-proof bowl (preferably stainless) beat together whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt, using an electric hand mixer at high speed. Place bowl over pan of simmering water and continue beating with the electric mixer until the mixture is warm. Remove bowl from water. Continue to beat until mixture is cooled and increased in volume This will take 5-7 minutes, and the batter should be thick and leave a trail when the beaters are lifted from the bowl.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched with finger. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edge with knife and invert cake onto a rack. Carefully remove paper. Place another rack on cake and invert again. Cool completely.
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
- Combine sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat. Heat to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in liqueur.
2 bags (12 ounces each) frozen unsweetened raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup raspberry liqueur
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder (1/2 oz.)
2 cups heavy cream
- Let raspberries thaw in the bags. Combine raspberries (along with whatever juice/ liquid is in the bags) and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl. You should have about 2 cups of raspberry pulp and juice combined. Cool to room temperature.
- Combine liqueur and gelatin in heatproof cup and let stand 5 minutes. Heat in microwave for 10 seconds or until gelatin turns to liquid. You can also melt it in a saucepan on the stove top if you don’t have a microwave.
- Whisk into raspberry purée.
- Beat heavy cream in bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at high speed. Fold raspberry mixture into whipped cream.
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, heated until loosened considerably
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
Dark chocolate curls or shavings
26-28 fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 pints)
- Level cake with a serrated knife then cut genoise horizontally into two equal layers. Place one 8-inch layer, centered, in the bottom of the 9-inch spring form pan, cut side up. Brush with half of raspberry syrup. Spread with ½ cup of the chocolate-hazelnut spread.
- Pour half of the raspberry Bavarian cream over and around the sides of the cake. Lightly drop the pan on the counter top one or two times to ensure the cream settles into the empty ring around the genoise. Top with other cake layer. Brush with remaining syrup. Spread the remaining ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread over the genoise. Cover with remaining raspberry Bavarian cream. Drop on counter top as before. The cream should completely fill the 9-inch pan with a little left over. Level the top with a large off-set spatula. Cover and refrigerate until mixture sets, at least 2 hours.
- Run a small knife between dessert and pan. Remove spring form collar. Spread 1 cup whipped cream on side of dessert. Pipe a decorative border of whipped cream around the edge of the cake with the remaining cream, using a small star decorator tip (if desired). Press chocolate curls or shavings into sides of the cake. Arrange raspberries in a concentric circle around the top edge of the cake. Sprinkle center with chocolate curls.