Bittersweet Chocolate Torte
Nonstick spray oil
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 oz. (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
Confectioners’ sugar (optional garnish)
Chocolate Ganache Glaze (optional garnish; recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with spray oil. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper that has been cut to fit and coat it with the spray oil.
In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter and heat, stirring constantly, just until melted. Immediately remove from the heat; set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites and the salt just until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat just until soft peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Gradually fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix just until incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the torte in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. (The sides of the torte should rise during baking and fall during cooling.) To flatten the torte evenly, gently press the edges of the cooled cake until they are flush with the center of the cake. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto a platter or a 9-inch cardboard circle; the cake should be upside down. Using the bottom of the cake pan, gently press the “top” of the cake to flatten it evenly.
If desired, dust the top of the torte with confectioners’ sugar or spread with the Chocolate Ganache Glaze.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 C. heavy (whipping) cream
2 T. light corn syrup
1 T. liqueur, such as Amaretto or Grand Marnier, or 1 to 2 t. almond, mint or orange extract (optional)
In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup and heat, stirring constantly, just until the chocolate melts. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Strain the mixture, discarding any solids. Stir in the liqueur or extract, if using. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.
To glaze: Apply a thin layer of the cooled glaze to the top and side of the cake. Some crumbs may show through the glaze; this is okay. Heat the remaining glaze over low heat until it is more liquid but not hot. Strain the glaze, discarding any solids.
Transfer the cake and its cardboard circle to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Drizzle the remaining glaze over the entire cake. If you miss a spot, pour the glaze that has run onto the cookie sheet back over the cake. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Collect the glaze that has dripped off and cool it in a bowl to use for piping a decorative edge.
2 C. fresh raspberries
2 to 3 T. sugar, or to taste
1 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries. Add the sugar, lemon juice and salt and pulse to combine. Strain the mixture, discarding the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 45 minutes.
1 C. heavy (whipping) cream, cold
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. sugar
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, combine all of the ingredients and beat until whipped. Set aside.