Fran’s Framboise Torte
Our goal with the Framboise was to pack as many raspberries as humanly possible into the cake, permeating it with exquisite fragrance without resorting to the crutch of jam filling. The result is an exceptionally moist, dark chocolate torte drenched with tart raspberry – a combination we never grow tired of. Serve with lightly whipped cream and a few fresh berries.
Serves 12 to 16
- 7½ ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 ounces thawed frozen raspberries, juices reserved (or 1¼ cups fresh raspberries)
- 1¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 5 large eggs, separated
- ½ cup cake flour, sifted then measured
- 1 recipe Chocolate Butter Glaze
MAKING THE CAKE
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Butter an 8-inch heart-shaped or 9-inch round cake pan, then line with a sheet of parchment paper that has been cut to match the shape of the pan.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over low heat. Remove when nearly melted and continue stirring until completely smooth.
- Add the softened butter in three parts, stirring after each addition until no visible traces of butter remain. If the butter begins to melt and separate, stop and allow the chocolate more time to cool.
- The finished mixture should be glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool until the mixture is the consistency of softened butter. Briefly return to the double boiler if it begins to thicken too much.
- In a food processor, purée the raspberries and ½ cup of sugar for 1 minute. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds, then stir in the Grand Marnier and set aside.
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks with 7 tablespoons of sugar at medium-high speed, increasing to high speed until light and tripled in volume, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the whipped egg yolks; this should be smooth and glossy.
- Once the melted chocolate has blended into the egg yolk mixture, fold in the raspberry purée.
- Clean and dry the whisk attachment and in another bowl begin whipping the egg whites on medium-high speed, increasing the speed and allowing them to become quite frothy.
- With the machine on, slowly add the remaining 7 tablespoons of sugar and continue whipping until the peaks are stiff but not dry. The mixture should have a glossy appearance and creamy consistency.
- While the egg whites are finishing, fold the sifted flour into the chocolate mixture.
- Take 1/3 of the finished egg whites and quickly fold into the chocolate mixture; this will help lighten the chocolate mixture.
- Take the remaining egg whites and, working in two parts, gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Try not to overmix, as this will cause a loss of volume.
- Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until the top appears lighter in color. A cake tester inserted in the center will have a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cake cool in the pan at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes.
- Run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake and invert onto a cardboard cake circle or metal tart pan bottom. Wrap in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator.
- Once cooled, the cake can be wrapped in plastic and placed in the freezer for up to 1 week prior to assembly.
FINISHING THE TORTE
- Bring the torte to room temperature and remove the plastic, peel off the parchment paper, and trim any uneven edges.
- Place the torte layer (leaving it on the cardboard cake circle or metal tart bottom) on a cooling or pouring rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Beginning 1½ inches from the edge of the torte, slowly and evenly pour the Chocolate Butter Glaze all around the torte, making sure that the sides are sufficiently covered. Then pour the remaining glaze onto the center.
- Working quickly with a metal offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the top, letting the excess run down the sides.
- Let set at room temperature until the glaze is slightly firm, about 5 minutes.
- Once set, slide an offset spatula between the bottom of the cake and the cardboard circle or metal tart pan, rotating the spatula to release any spots where the glaze has stuck to the rack.
- Carefully lift the torte and, supporting the cake’s bottom with your free hand, slide it onto its serving plate.
- The finished torte can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days, with cut edges protected.
To make Framboise petit fours, the torte may be baked in a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan, then cut into delightful bite-sized treats. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top becomes light in color and a cake tester has a few moist crumbs. Chill the cake well. Using a warm, dry cutter, carefully cut out the petit fours – we love using a small heart-shaped cutter for this. Place on a pouring rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet, and pour the Chocolate Butter Glaze over the petit fours. Let set at room temperature until the glaze is slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Once set, slide an offset spatula under the individual petit fours and move to a serving plate.