Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Savoring the harvest: Whole-Raspberry Chocolate Torte

by June

This time of year, we have candy growing in the garden: Raspberries!

Nobody can resist that little patch of sweetness. The girls beeline to the berries with their playmates. Our favorite little toddler eats so many he finally has to be lured away with a wagon ride because he can't tell the difference between ripe red and tummy-ache pink. Of course, the animals have a taste for raspberries too; Blossom and Fern spend hours shooing away the goats, the chickens and the two baby raccoons who are living in our honeysuckle hedge.

My dear daddy grew raspberries when I was growing up. The ripe berries were one of the few reasons I ventured voluntarily into the garden back then — because I hated, hated, hated getting nabbed for weeding duty. It was hot and soggy-wet-sopping humid out there in that Missouri garden. Not a breeze stirred. There were chiggers just waiting to burrow into my skin and keep me awake, itching and burning.  I used to cry and weed at the same time. But I did love to pick the raspberries. Not only were the berries delicious, I also had a wonderful time stirring up a breeze of chatter and laughter with my dad. I still can't taste a fresh-from-the-cane berry without thinking of Grandpa Hickory.

If there's one thing Grandpa Hickory loves as much as a raspberry, it's a chocolate-covered raspberry. So here, on his birthday, is the recipe for a cake that makes us all grateful for the raspberry tradition in our family. Our only challenge is saving a cup of raspberries for baking instead of eating straight from the garden.

Whole-Raspberry Chocolate Torte

1//2 cup blanched almonds, toasted lightly
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberries plus additional for garnish
1/4 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup if you want to pour the frosting on)
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

— In a food processor grind the almonds, scraping the bowl occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they are the consistency of a nut butter, and reserve the mixture.
— In a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate and the butter, stirring occasionally, and remove the bowl from the pan.
— In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are pale, add the sugar gradually, beating, and beat the mixture until it is very thick and pale. Beat in the chocolate mixture, the framboise, and the reserved almond butter and beat the mixture until it is combined well.
— Into the bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, and the salt, beat the mixture until it is combined well, and fold in 1 cup of the raspberries gently.
— Turn the mixture into a well-buttered 8 1/2-inch springform pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top, and bake the torte in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. let the torte cool in the pan on a rack and remove the side of the pan.
— In a small heavy saucepan bring the cream to a boil and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chocolate, stirring until the mixture is smooth, and let the ganache cool for 3 minutes. Spread the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a spatula. Let the torte stand for 1 hour, or until the ganache is set. Transfer the torte carefully to a serving plate, garnish it with more raspberries (if you can rescue enough from the children, goats, chickens, and baby raccoons).


meemsnyc said...

Ooooh, love raspberries! That torte looks delicious!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Sadly, during an orchard raid earlier this spring, the deer stripped us of most of our raspberry harvest. We've had a few...though none of those have successfully made it into the house! I used to be charged with weeding as a child...hated it. My parents bought me 12 strawberry plants to nurture so I'd have something to do other than weeding...although I would have preferred raspberries. Yours look wonderful, and the torte is making me quite hungry! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Sounds heavenly June! Raspberries and chocolate - be still my heart!

Conny said...

Looks like a must-try recipe: and a must-find fresh raspberries here in the city.

How are Fern and Blossom's chickens doing by the way? Are they producing enough to buy goat feed? More goat pictures, please. :>)

Libby said...

Oh sweet deliciousness! Thank you for this timely delight!

JGH said...

Absolutely no doubt that this would go over well at my house!

commonweeder said...

This looks like a delicious cake - and my raspberries are almost ripe!

tom @ tall clover farm said...

Your timing is superb June, as my Tulameen raspberries are just coming into their own. All I was missing was a vehicle (other than hand to mouth) to deliver these juicy morsels. This chocolate torte will serve them well!

PS-Love the pic of you and your Dad!

Catherine said...

Oh! I was just looking for a cake recipe for my husband upcoming b-day! Your raspberry post brought me here and I found it! I've got to try that raspberry jam next year!!

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