A few weeks ago my husband was watching an episode of "America's Test Kitchen" on TV. We both LOVE that show and enjoy learning all the great tips they offer. That day they were making a delicious chocolate torte with raspberry filling. I happen to walk in as Christopher Kimball and Yvonne Ruperti were enjoying the finished product; my husband was practically drooling in his seat. I promised to make it for him and I finally did so last week. Here's the link to the entire recipe and notes:
BAKING THE CAKE:
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line bottoms of two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans with parchment paper.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Stir in vanilla and espresso powder.
4. Process 1 cup almonds until very finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add flour and salt and continue to process until combined, about 15 seconds. Transfer almond-flour mixture to medium bowl.
5. Process eggs in now-empty food processor until lightened in color and almost doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. With processor running, slowly add sugar until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Using whisk, gently fold egg mixture into chocolate mixture (step 3) until some streaks of egg remain. Sprinkle half almond-flour mixture (step 5) over chocolate-egg mixture and gently whisk until just combined. Sprinkle in remaining almond-flour mixture and gently whisk until just combined.
6. Divide batter between cake pans and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until center is firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 14 to 16 minutes.
7. Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes.
8. Run paring knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto cardboard rounds cut same size as diameter of cake and remove parchment paper. Using wire rack, re-invert one cake so top side faces up; slide back onto cardboard round.
ASSEMBLING THE TORTE
9. Place ½ cup raspberries in medium bowl and coarsely mash with fork. Stir in raspberry jam until just combined. Spread raspberry mixture onto cake layer that is top side up. Top with second cake layer, leaving it bottom side up. Transfer assembled cake, still on cardboard round, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
MAKING THE GLAZE
10. Melt chocolate and cream in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and gently whisk until very smooth. Pour glaze onto center of assembled cake. Use offset spatula to spread glaze evenly over top of cake, letting it flow down sides. Spread glaze along sides of cake to coat evenly.
GARNISHING THE TORTE
11. Process 3/4 cup almonds in food processor until coarsely chopped, six to eight 1-second pulses.
12. Using fine-mesh strainer, sift almonds to remove any fine bits. Holding bottom of cake on cardboard round with 1 hand, gently press sifted almonds onto cake sides with other hand. Arrange raspberries around circumference. Refrigerate cake, still on rack, until glaze is set, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
13. Transfer cake to serving platter, slice, and serve.
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So I started off with making the mix for the torte and preparing the two layers.
A helpful tip they recommended on the show was to use a plastic knife (the kind you get when you order take-outs) to safely loosen the edges of the cake. This prevents the bottom of the pan from being scratched up by metal knives.
After removing the cakes from the pan and letting them cool off, I spread the raspberry filling on top of the bottom layer.
There is no need to spread the filling all the way to the edge. This will prevent the filling from squirting out from the sides.
Carefully lay the top layer over the filling.
Melt the bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream together to make the chocolate glaze.
Pour the glaze slowly over the torte and let the extras drip down to the side. Smooth the top with a metal spatula. Top the torte with fresh raspberries and sliced almonds.
Leave it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow the glaze to set... then dig in!
It goes wonderfully when paired with a large cup of almond tea latte! :D