It’s Friday and time to head on over to the friendliest virtual party going – Angie’s Fiesta Friday; to catch up with everyone and enjoy the offerings they bring to the party. It’s not just food you know, although admittedly, that is the main thrust – just look at what else we’ve had recently…
- Pang@CircaHappy brought these utterly stunning floral arrangements – Pang is a talented dynamo; her food is equally as beautiful and her photography is fabulous.
- Megan@Firebonnet brought these amazing old Ladies Home Journals full of glorious hats from the early 1900’s. Megan has a joyful blog full of happiness, hope and art.
- Rakhi@BlissBook told us how she and her brother threw a surprise 30th anniversary party for their parents, pulling it off magnificently despite her mother’s honed detective skills – a touching post with photos of pure happiness and joy that did make me well up a bit!
- Justine@ElecticOddsnSods brought some music to cook by and asked us to share our favourites too. Justine is at heart a writer and has three, yes I said three blogs, written in her inimitable and witty style.
- Loretta@SafariOfTheMind shared her glorious gardens with us and they are quite something – jaw droppingly spectacular. Loretta has started blogging quite recently and her post on her trip to Kenya is quite the read.
So it’s not all delicious food, decadent puds and glamourous cocktails. Pour yourself an ice cold tall drink enjoy Fiesta Friday #20 which is very ably hosted this week by Fae@Fae’sTwistandTango and Suzanne@PugintheKitchen. Fae needs little introduction – the original blog mother hen, she has nurtured and encouraged so many whilst maintaing a truly international, inspirational and delicious blog. Suzanne is a very creative and prolific cook who creates recipes for Wholefoods and my favourite website Food52. And how adorable are her pugs? Thank you ladies – it is going to be a blast!
If you blog, please do join in, reading the the guidelines first to get you going.
I, of course, stay true to my nature and bring something for the table. A rather grown up and glorious Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte. A torte is defined as
a sweet cake or tart; from German Torte, via Italian from late Latin torta ’round loaf, cake’. Compare with tortilla…
Oh, I do like a little word-history…
Inspired by The River Cafe’s Easy Chocolate Nemesis Cake and Nigella’s Chocolate Meringue (which is my dinner party pudding of choice) , this is a dinner party pudding cake. With a crisp meringue exterior and a rich, dense, raspberry studded interior, it is a rather decadent affair. The espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavour and the tart raspberries offset the sweetness.
While the torte is straightforward enough to make, there are a few crucial points that would be remiss of me not to highlight;
- Take some time to line the sides and base of the tin with waxed paper.
- The eggs must be at room temperature – they will not whip up to the volume required otherwise.
- Ensure that the bowl and beaters for the egg whites are scrupulously clean – any bits of grease or egg yolk and they will not whip up as voluminously. Unless you have 2 sets of beaters, start with the whites first and then move onto the yolks.
- Use large bowls – the whites whip up to 4-5 times their original volume.
- When you are whipping the whites, add the sugar a little at a time.
- This is a great article on the various stages of whipping egg whites (and cream)
- Use a large metal spoon to fold in the egg whites – rubber spatulas destroy the volume.
- When folding the second and third batches of egg whites, be gentle – don’t knock out the air. The whites are the only leavening agent.
Flourless Chocolate and Raspberry Torte
- 50 g (3 Tbsp) butter
- 200 g (7 oz) 70% cocoa, dark chocolate, broken up
- 6 large room temperature eggs, yolks and whites separated into 2 large bowls
- 225 g (1 cup) caster/superfine sugar, divided in half
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp expresso powder
- ¼ tsp salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
- 225g ripe raspberries
- 1 x 23 cm/9″ springform baking tin, sides and bottom lined with waxed paper
- Place the butter and the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. The water should not touch the bowl – the steam will heat and melt the chocolate and butter. Stir it every so often until melted, amalgamated and smooth. Alternatively, place in a microwave safe bowl, cover loosely and heat on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth – this should take about 2 minutes. I used the microwave. Leave it to cool whilst getting the rest of the ingredients ready.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line the base and sides of the tin with waxed paper using a little butter to help it stick to the tin.
- Whip the egg whites in a large grease free bowl until foamy on a medium setting.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk briefly.
- Increase the setting to high and start adding half the sugar very gradually. The mixture will start getting glossy and increase greatly in volume. Keep going until you get to the stiff peaks stage – when you pull your beaters out, the mixture forms a peak that doesn’t flop over. Set aside while you get on with the egg yolks.
- Whip the egg yolks with the other half the sugar for about 3 or 4 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time – the mixture will turn from gloopy and bright orange to a pale, thick and creamy mass.
- Add the espresso powder and the salt and whip to incorporate.
- Add the cooled but still liquid chocolate/butter mixture and whip again until it is evenly mixed.
- Using a large metal spoon, fold in the egg whites to the yolk/chocolate mixture in 3 batches. The first batch is really to temper or loosen up and lighten the yolk/chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whites carefully trying to keep as much of the volume as you can.
- Scrape into the prepared pan and top with the raspberries, pushing them in slightly.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out without any batter clinging to it.
- Cool in the pan, on a wire rack – it should collapse in the middle with a crisp meringue like shell and a fudgey centre, studded with raspberries.
- Serve in small slices with a little cream and a few fresh raspberries.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.