No room for dessert? Are you sure? Raspberry-Mint Chocolate Torte and Ginger-Lemon Cake are rich, luscious and irresistible.
Serves 12 to 16
Elegance is defined by a tasteful richness, such as that displayed in the classic partnership of raspberry, mint and chocolate. If fresh raspberries aren’t available, the loose-pack frozen ones, completely thawed, will work just fine.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 8 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons crème de menthe
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups red raspberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 three-inch sprigs of mint, tied in a bundle
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 4¼ cup sugar
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup almonds, finely chopped
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate over gently boiling water. Let cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Add the crème de menthe and flour. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisking continuously, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolk–sugar mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites. Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans and spread evenly. Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans 10 minutes, then turn out on wire racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Refrigerate the layers for 1 hour.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the raspberries and sugar for the sauce. In a medium pan, combine the puree and the bundle of mint sprigs. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Remove the mint and refrigerate the sauce until needed. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, butter, and sugar for the ganache to a boil. Place the chocolate in a medium stainless-steel bowl and pour the boiling cream mixture over it. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes smooth. Remove ½ cup of the ganache to a small bowl and stir in the chopped almonds. Set the remaining ganache aside.
- Remove the torte layers from the refrigerator. Trim the crust from the top of one layer and place that layer, top side down, on a serving plate. Evenly spread the chocolate-almond mixture over the layer to the edges. Spread ¼ cup of the raspberry-mint sauce evenly over the chocolate-almond mixture to the edges. Place the second layer, bottom side down, atop the first. Trim the top crust and the sides of both layers so that they are even. Refrigerate the torte at least 20 minutes. Remove the torte from the refrigerator. Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and around the sides of the torte. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes. To serve, pour a small pool of raspberry-mint sauce onto each dessert plate. Place a slice of torte in the center of each pool. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Ron McNeely is a Colorado-based writer and gourmet cook.