Published November 1, 2010.
To make this dessert more than a mere elegant centerpiece, we ditched the dull, dry cake and started over with the fudgiest, most deeply chocolaty foundation we could find.
The cake is usually dry and anemic, with a jam center lacking bright, complex fruit flavor and a glaze that is nothing more than a thin, overly sugar coating.
We wanted to create a rich, deeply chocolaty layered dessert, and then put our own spin on it by pairing the chocolate with raspberries.
We needed a rich, fudgy, flourless chocolate cake to serve as a base. We started by baking our Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake in two 9-inch pans, so we could sandwich the two cakes together rather than struggle to horizontally halve a single delicate cake. But when we tried to pick up the second layer and, later, eat it, the dense cake tore and fell apart. Our cake needed more structure.
We decided to try a technique used in many classic torte recipes: Using ground nuts in place of some of the flour to get a sturdier texture. It worked perfectly. The layers were still moist but had enough structure so that a filling could be added and the second layer could be placed on top without any collateral damage. What’s more, the flavor of the cake benefitted from the depth provided by toasted nuts.
Our only gripe was that this cake—and the eventual cleanup—was turning into quite a project. We’d been using a stand mixer to whip the eggs, but now that we were using a food processor to grind the nuts, there were too many appliances to clean. We remade the recipe using only our food processor and found that it worked just as effectively as the stand mixer.
For the filling, we needed something with as much complexity as the cake. Ultimately, the winning approach was to combine jam with lightly mashed fresh berries for a tangy-sweet mixture that clung to the cake.
All we had left to do was apply a glaze. To keep things simple, we melted bittersweet chocolate with heavy cream to create a rich-tasting, glossy ganache that poured smoothly over the cake. And to up the glamour quotient, we dotted fresh raspberries around the top perimeter of the torte and pressed sliced, toasted almonds along its sides. Our updated torte was a real beauty—inside and out.list of recipes