Raspberry-Chocolate Torte
Serves: 16
Three layers of chocolate genoise, filled with a fruity raspberry syrup, dark chocolate spread and fluffy raspberry Bavarian cream are covered in a rich chocolate ganache and decorated with fresh raspberries and white chocolate shavings.
For the chocolate genoise cake:
  • 165g (or 1¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
  • 135g (or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 9 large eggs
  • 340g (or 1½ + 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) unsalted butter
For the syrup and chocolate filling:
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
  • 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry eau de vie (or raspberry liquor)
  • 200g (or 7 ounces) dark chocolate spread
For the raspberry Bavarian cream:
  • 225ml (or ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons) whole milk
  • 225ml (or ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 110g (or ½ cup + 2 teaspoons) granulated sugar
  • enough sheet gelatin to set 700ml (2¾ cup + 3 tablespoons) of liquid
  • 200g (or 7 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed but still cold
  • 450ml (or 1¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
Finishing touches:
  • 160ml (or about ½ cup + 3 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
  • 200g (or 7 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60g (or ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons) granulated sugar
  • 200g (or about 1½ cup) fresh raspberries
  • 200g (or 7 ounces) white chocolate shavings
  1. Start with the genoise cake layers:
  2. Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line a 23-cm (9-inch) cake pan with baking parchment. This will be easier if you stick the parchment to the pan with a little bit of butter. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Place the bowl on top of a pan with simmering water (the bowl should not touch the water; check out my tips on 'Faking a Double Boiler') and gently heat the egg mixture, while continuously mixing with a hand mixer, until the mixture is slightly warmer than body temperature and the sugar has dissolved. Take the bowl off the heat and mix until the mixture feels cool to the touch, has tripled in volume and ribbons when you lift the beaters of the mixer (after the mixer has been turned off, of course). Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in one-third of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining two-thirds of the mixture. Be very gentle about this; you don't want to beat all the fluffiness out of the mixture.
  4. In the meantime, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once the butter has melted, take it off the heat and skim off the foam. Carefully pour the melted butter in another container, making sure not to pour in the white milk solids on the bottom of the pan. You now have clarified butter. Measure off 100g (or ⅓ cup + 5 teaspoons) of clarified butter and fold it trough one-third of the genoise batter. You don't have to be too gentle with it at this stage. Next, gently fold the butter mixture through the remaining genoise batter, taking care not to beat the air out of the mixture.
  5. Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the raspberry syrup, following the recipe below. Once the cake is done, take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack before turning the cake out of the pan. Once the cake has come to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for at least two hours. This would be the perfect time to resume your normal day-to-day activities!
Make the raspberry syrup:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and heat over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes clear, take it off the heat and pour it in a heatproof container, such as a coffee mug. Leave to cool to room temperature, measure off 60ml (or ¼ cup) syrup and stir in the raspberry eau de vie. Discard the remaining syrup or save for another purpose. Allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until use.
Once the cake has chilled, prepare the Bavarian cream:
  1. NOTE: should be made right before cake assembly.
  2. Combine the milk, the 225ml (or or ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons) of whipping cream and two-thirds of the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks, the remaining sugar and a splash of the milk mixture from the pan.
  3. Heat the milk mixture over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, crank up the heat and bring to a boil.
  4. In the meantime, soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes and purée the raspberries in a food processor or with a stick blender.
  5. Once the milk mixture has reached scalding point, slowly drizzle the mixture in the egg mixture, whisking continuously to prevent the yolks from scrambling.
  6. Once all the milk has been added, pour the mixture back in the sauce pan and heat over low heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (at 78°C/172°F).
  7. Once the mixture has thickened, pour it through a fine-meshed sieve in a cool, medium-sized bowl. You have now made crème anglaise.
  8. Give the gelatin (after its 10 minute soak) a good squeeze to get rid of any excess water and whisk it into the hot custard to dissolve. Once the gelatin has dissolved, whisk in the cold raspberry purée and leave the raspberry cream to cool to body temperature on the counter.
  9. In the meantime, whip up the remaining cream until it holds soft peaks.
  10. Once the raspberry cream has cooled sufficiently, fold it through the whipped cream. Assemble the cake immediately.
Assemble the cake:
  1. NOTE: start assembling right after you made the raspberry Bavarian cream.
  2. Line the sides of a 23-cm (or 9-inch) springform pan with parchment. You can use a little butter to make the parchment stick to the sides of the pan.
  3. Carefully split the genoise cake in three equal layers. Place one of the layers on the bottom of the springform pan and generously brush it with raspberry syrup.
  4. In the bowl of a double boiler, heat the chocolate spread to loosen it and spread half of it on top of the cake brushed with syrup.
  5. Place the cake in the freezer for a couple of minutes to firm up the chocolate spread, then pour half the raspberry Bavarian cream on top of it. Place the cake in the freezer for another ten minutes, so the surface of the cream can set a little.
  6. Gently place the second genoise layer on top of the set Bavarian cream layer, pushing down slightly to get rid of any air pockets, and brush the genoise with the syrup. Spread the remaining chocolate spread onto the cake and place the cake in the freezer for another five minutes for the spread to firm up.
  7. Pour the remaining raspberry cream on top of the cake layer and carefully place the third genoise layer on top, pushing down slightly to get rid of any air pockets and making sure the final layer is as level as possible. Place the cake in the fridge overnight, so the gelatin in the Bavarian cream can set properly.
Make the chocolate ganache the next day:
  1. Combine the sugar and whipping cream in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar, then crank up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Place the chocolate in a small, heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream on top of it. Leave to sit on the countertop for a few minutes, then whisk smooth. If the chocolate hasn't melted properly or the mixture is too thick to pour, heat the ganache in the bowl of a double boiler until shiny and runny.
  2. Take the cake out of the fridge and remove the springform collar. Peel the baking from the sides of the cake, then transfer the cake to either a serving plate or wire rack (placed over a dripping bowl) and pour over the ganache. Using a rubber spatula or a spoon, spread the ganache to the sides of the cake so that it will drip down and cover the sides. Place the cake back in the freezer for 30 minutes (or put straight back in the fridge and leave it there for at least 1 hour) then place it in the fridge until ready to serve.
To make it look pretty:
  1. If the cake has been glazed on a wire rack, transfer the cake to a serving plate. If the cake has been glazed on a serving plate, carefully remove any ganache drippings with a small knife and clean the edge of the plate with a clean, damp cloth. Arrange the raspberries in a circle around the top edge of the cake and sprinkle the center of the cake with the chocolate shavings.
WARNING: the layers of this cake are prone to slide, because the chocolate spread and the Bavarian cream don't really stick to each other. Just be careful after you've taken off the springform collar, and you'll be fine.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at https://thetoughcookie.com/2013/08/30/raspberry-chocolate-torte/