Sunday, March 10, 2013

French Baking: Chocolate-Raspberry cake (Patisserie, gateau chocolat-framboise de Christophe Felder)

This recipe is taken from this wonderful book by Christophe Felder: Patisserie! It is THE most amazing baking cookbook. Full of elegant, decadent and delicious french patisserie recipes. If you can read French, I strongly advise you to get this book immediately! Actually, even if you can't. It's just too pretty!

Here's a traduction of the recipe for the gateau chocolat-framboise.

for the raspberry syrup:
- 100g (3.5 oz) frozen raspberries (the original recipe calls for fresh raspberries, but I just didn't have them on hand :) )
- 5cl (1.7 fl oz) water
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- 50g (1.7 oz) caster sugar

for the chocolate sponge:
- 120g (4.2 oz) egg yolks
- 240g (8.4 oz) egg whites (handily enough, the white weighs about twice as much as the yolk in one egg)
- 150g (5.3 oz) AP flour
- 20g (0.7 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 180g (6.3 oz) caster sugar

for the rasberry compote:
- 1 jar of raspberry preserves, with pips (375g -13oz)
- 250g (8.8 oz) frozen raspberries (original recipe calls for fresh)

for the chocolate mousse:
- 500g (1 pint) heavy whipping cream (pour in a bowl and keep in the fridge until use - it needs to be very cold)
- 90g (3.2 oz) caster sugar
- 5cl (1.7 fl oz) water
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 220g (7.7 oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

for the assembly:
- 100g (3.5 oz) melted dark chocolate
- 50g (1.7 oz) confectioner sugar

- pre-heat your oven at 180C (350F)

raspberry syrup:
- mix the thawed raspberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl
- crush with a fork and reserve until further use

chocolate sponge:
- whip the egg whites with a mixer
- when the whites start getting fluffy, gradually add the sugar (this is a french meringue)
- when done, the meringue should hold its shape at the tip of the whisk
- incorporate the egg yolks

- slowly add the flour and cocoa and stir delicately with a spatula

- spread the batter evenly on a baking sheet covered with a silicone pad or greased parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes
- cool the sponge until further use

raspberry compote:
- mix the raspberry preserves and frozen raspberries
- cook in a small pan over low heat, stirring often
- reserve until further use

chocolate mousse:
- make a simple syrup: mix the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil (118C/244F reading with a candy thermometer). set aside.
- whip the egg and yolks together with a mixer
- slowly pour the syrup over the eggs while mixing at high speed until fluffy, smooth and creamy
Note: be sure to add the syrup very slowly, otherwise the eggs will curdle and you'll end up with sweet scrambled eggs. eek!

- melt the chocolate in a double boiler, over low heat

- whip the cold heavy cream until firm
Note: be careful not to whip the cream too long, otherwise it will separate into butter and buttermilk... not a bad thing really, because homemade butter is delicious, but you really want whipped cream for this particular recipe ;)

- incorportate the chocolate into the eggs

- then the whipped cream

- melt the chocolate and spread it on the sponge
- sprinkle confectionner sugar and let it firm up in the freezer for a few minutes
Note: I'm not sure why this step is necessary and it does not say in the book. But after thinking it over, I believe this is necessary for the cake to hold its shape once assembled and prevent the sponge layers from getting too soggy from the syrup and mousse filling.

- Cut the sponge into two sheets that fit in a rectangular cake frame
Note: if you do not own a baking frame, you can make your own (my friend actually crafted this for me, out of cardboard, scotch tape and saran wrap)
- place one sponge sheet in the frame, chocolate side down
- using a brush, imbibe the sponge with half of the raspberry syrup
- pour half of the chocolate mousse and even it out with a spatula

- repeat with the second half of the sponge, syrup and mousse
- place a sheet of saran wrap on top of the mousse, weigh down with a cutting board and place in the freezer for 30 minutes (2hrs in the fridge in the original recipe)

- when the cake is cold and firm, remove the plastic wrap and spread the raspberry compote on top

- remove the frame, slice in squares and ENJOY!!!

PS: this goes really really well with Champagne ;)

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