Framboise Chocolate Torta

Serves 10-12

Framboise Chocolate Torta a.k.a Raspberry Chocolate Torte

Framboise chocolate torta is a European-style cake that is extremely moist with deep chocolate notes that conspire with Framboise (raspberry liqueur) and fresh raspberry purée then draped with a chocolate butter glaze. This is a chocoholics dream which is why I always make it for Valentines Day for Timothy. I recommend using artisanal or couverture chocolate, such as Valhrona, Scharffen Berger, Lindt, or Callebaut, because the cake uses no leavener and very little can flour so the chocolate is the shining star and you’re gonna want to use premium chocolate.

In 2005 I when I completed my culinary school training in pastry art, I became obsessed with chocolate. We even took a road trip up highway 1 from Thousand Oaks, in Southern to San Francisco, because there were many well known chocolatiers. It’s also home to Scharffen Berger & Ghiradelli who are 2 major chocolate manufacturers. If you have the opportunity to visit San Francisco be sure to Google the top chololatiers and pâtisséries because you’ll be in for a treat.

Overripe berries are great for baking. The framboise torta is perfect for making in a heart shaped pan for Valentine’s Day or make heart shaped petit fours like those pictured. Bake the torte in a 9 x 13 sheet pan and cut out using cookie cutters into heart shapes. Follow the variation for instructions. We finished the torte with a butter glaze and butter is what gives this gorgeous glaze its glossy finish and a silky feeling on the palate. I use it as the finishing touch on most of the classic European-style tortes. Butter-glazed cakes should always be stored at room temperature, since chilling dulls their shine.

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 7½ ounces (213g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 15 ounces (425g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (195ml or 301g) fresh raspberries or 7 ounces (198g) frozen, juices reserved
  • ½ cup (118g or 100g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (60ml) Framboise liqueur or Grand Marnier
  • ¾ cup plus (177ml) tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup cake flour, (118ml or 57g) sifted then measured

FOR THE GANACHE:

  • 4 ounces (113g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350℉. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, preferably flared (follow variation to make hearts pictured) and line with a parchment circle. 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 until no visible traced 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.
  2. In a food processor puree the raspberries and sugar for 1 minute. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks with half the sugar at medium-high speed, increasing to high speed until light and tripled in volume. 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. The mixture should be smooth and glossy. Fold in the raspberry purée.
  5. Meanwhile sift the flour and set aside.
  6. 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, slowing add the remaining sugar and continue whipping until the peaks are stiff but not dry. The mixture should have a glossy appearance and creamy consistency.
  7. While the egg whites are finishing, fold the sifted flour into the chocolate mixture.
  8. Lighten the chocolate mixture by quickly folding in one-third of the whites, then gently fold in the remaining whites in 2 parts, trying not to overtax and lose the volume. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. 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 cake cool at room temperature in the pan for approximately 15 minutes.
  10. 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 cake cool at room temperature in the pan for approximately 15 minutes.
  11. To remove from pan, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake. Invert onto a cardboard cake circle or metal tart pan bottom. Wrap in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator. (The cake can be wrapped in plastic once cooled and placed in freezer up to a week prior to assembly).

CHOCOLATE BUTTER GLAZE

In a double boiler or bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate. Remove the top of the boiler (or bowl) when the chocolate is nearly melted and continue stirring until smooth. Add the softened butter, slowly stirring with a rubber spatula until no visible traces of butter remain. (If the butter starts to liquefy, stop and let the chocolate cool slightly). The glaze should be glossy and smooth with a temperature of 80-85℉. When stirred, it will hold a line on the surface for about 10 seconds before disappearing. If the glaze begins to set up, return briefly to the double boiler.

TO FINISH THE TORTA

  1. Bring the torte to room temperature. Remove the plastic, peel off the parchment paper, and trim any uneven edges.
  2. Have a ready the Chocolate Butter Glaze.
  3. Place the torte layer (leaving it on cardboard cake circle or tart bottom) on a cooling or pouring rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Beginning 1½ inches from the edge of the torte, slowly and evenly pour the glaze all around the torte, making sure that the sides are sufficiently covered. Then pour the remaining glaze onto the center.
  5. Working quickly, with a metal offset spatula spread the glaze evenly over the top, letting the excess run down the sides.
  6. Let set at room temperature until glaze is slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Once set, slide an offset spatula under the cardboard circle, 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. Can be stored at room temperature up to 3 days, with cut edges protected.

VARIATION

To make petit fours like those pictured, the torte may be baked in a 9-by-13 inch sheet pan. 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 heart shapes. Place on a pouring rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet. Have ready the Chocolate Butter Glaze. Pour over the hearts. Let set at room temperate until glaze is slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Once set, slide an offset spatula under the individual petit-fours and move to a serving plate.

Butter is what gives this gorgeous glaze its glossy finish and a silky feeling on the palate. I use it as the finishing touch on most of the classic European-style tortes. Butter-glazed cakes should always be stored at room temperature, since chilling dulls their shine.

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