Oh. My. Goodness. This recipe is a chocolate lovers DREAM. This torte is incredibly rich, but since it’s made entirely with dark chocolate, it’s not overly sweet, which I like. While rich, the layer of raspberry jam and crushed raspberries does help cut the richness, adding a bright, tarty layer to the deep chocolate flavor.
To make the cake, adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate and butter in double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Once cooled, stir in the vanilla and espresso powder.
In a food processor, pulse 3/4 cups of almonds until coarsely chopped, about 6 to 8 pulses. Set aside to use as a garnish later. Process the remaining 1 cup of almonds until very finely ground, about 45 seconds.
Add flour and salt and continue to process until combined, about 15 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
In the now empty processor, process the eggs until they have lightened in color and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes.
With the processor running, slowly add the sugar until combined, about 15 seconds. Using a whisk , gently fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until some streaks of the egg mixture remain.
Since the chocolate is denser than the egg, while folding in the eggs it’s necessary to “shovel” to the bottom of the chocolate bowl to loosen the chocolate and incorporate.
Sprinkle half of the almond-four mixture into the chocolate-egg mixture and gently whisk until just combined. Follow by adding the remaining almond-flour mixture and combining as well.
Divide the batter between the two cake pans and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake until the centers of the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 14 to 16 minutes.
Allow the cakes to cool completely in pans on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides of the cakes, and invert the cakes onto cardboard rounds cut the same size as the cakes. Remove the parchment paper and use a plate or wire rack to reinvert one of the cakes so that the top side faces up. Slide back onto cardboard round.
In the interest of full disclosure, I found this to be the most difficult part of this recipe. The cakes are very delicate and difficult to move around without some breakage. Here is the silver lining….Even though I completely mangled one of the cakes and it ended up in three large pieces, once you layer the cakes, cover it with chocolate and garnishes, you could not tell one bit that one of the cakes was “handicapped.”
So if you screw it up like me, fear not, all is not lost.
To assemble the torte, place 1/2 cup raspberries in a medium bowl and coarsely mash with fork. Stir in the raspberry jam until just combined. Spread the raspberry mixture on to the cake layer that is top side up.
Top with the second cake layer, leaving it bottom side up. Transfer the assembled cake, still on the cardboard round, to wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. I lined the baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
To prepare the glaze, melt chocolate with cream in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and gently whisk until very smooth. Pour the glaze onto the center of the assembled cake and use an offset spatula to spread evenly over the top of the cake, letting it flow down the sides. Spread the glaze along the sides to coat evenly.
To finish the garnishes, use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the reserved almonds to remove any fine bits. Using your hand, gently press the sifted almonds on the cake sides.
To place the raspberries evenly, place 4 raspberries at the 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions.
Continue to place the berries opposite each other until all are evenly placed.
Refrigerate the cake until the glaze has set, at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Slice and serve.
This torte will actually feed more people than you expect. Because it’s so rich, most people elected to cut tiny pieces for themselves. It is truly a delicious and decadent dessert!
Cake and Filling
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine (recommended: Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar)
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 3/4 cups sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 ounces fresh raspberries (1/2 cup), plus garnish berries
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Original Recipe, The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2012