Raspberry Chocolate Delights
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 2/3 cups pastry flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Over high heat, bring a 1-quart saucepan half-filled with water to a simmer. Set a large mixing bowl over but not touching the simmering water. Place the whole eggs, yolks, sugar and honey in the bowl and whisk the mixture to 113 degrees on a candy thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes. The egg passes through various stages, becoming foamy and then smooth, and finally it will thicken. When it is thick, it will be hot to the touch, tripled in volume and light in color, and the sugar will be completely dissolved. If you dip the whisk into the mixture and pull it out, the batter should fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon.
Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and whip the batter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it cools, increases in volume, stiffens slightly and becomes pale-yellow, 7 to 10 minutes. If you don’t whip it well, the cake will be too dense.
Sift cocoa powder and flour together into a bowl and set aside.
Very carefully, fold the cocoa-flour mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are no longer separately visible, making sure to fold to the bottom of the bowl. Do not overmix, or the batter will deflate.
Line a baking sheet (the kind with sides) with parchment paper to overhang slightly on the short ends. Pour cake batter onto the sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until cake is lightly browned and springy to the touch. Let cake cool slightly, then grasp one of the overhanging ends of the parchment paper and pull the cake out of the pan with the paper. Let cake cool completely on a wire rack. Remove paper and place cake on a flat surface. With a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut 24 circles from the genoise, keeping the cuts close together.
You can make the cake circles up to three weeks in advance and freeze them, wrapped in plastic wrap; be sure to defrost them before using. You will have twice as many cake circles as you need; I store the extra in the freezer for the next time I make the dessert, or I put whipped cream or ice cream on them as a different dessert.
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons framboise liqueur (optional)
Fill a 4-quart bowl half-full of ice cubes. Sprinkle salt over the ice and fill the bowl with water to cover the ice. Place a clean, dry 2-quart bowl in the ice bath and set the ice bath aside.
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a nonreactive 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, to dissolve the sugar. Add raspberries and return to a boil, whisking to break up the raspberries. Remove from heat. Strain hot syrup through a fine sieve into the 2-quart bowl in the ice bath, pressing to extract the juice; discard seeds and pulp. If you are using framboise, add it after the syrup has cooled. Store the syrup in a squeeze bottle or a bowl covered with plastic wrap until ready to use. You will use only about a quarter of the syrup; the rest will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.
Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Heat heavy cream in a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan until bubbles begin to form around the rim. Place chopped chocolate in a medium-sized mixing bowl; pour the hot cream over it and let it sit for 30 seconds to melt; then whisk until smooth.
Pour ganache onto a clean baking sheet and set aside to cool for a few hours. Do not refrigerate it or it will become too hard. When it reaches the consistency of toothpaste, scrape it into a pastry bag fitted with a half-inch tip. You can also use a gallon-sized plastic bag, cutting off the tip of one of the lower corners to make a half-inch-diameter opening for a piping bag when you are ready to assemble the dessert.
2 cups fresh raspberries
6 sheets phyllo dough (available in the freezer section of most supermarkets)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar, in a sieve
Defrost the ganache cake circles, if you froze them. Defrost the phyllo dough, covering it with a damp kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Lay the genoise circles out on a clean baking sheet. Ladle or squeeze just enough raspberry syrup atop the cakes to soak the cakes through (about 1/2 teaspoon). Top each cake circle with a quarter-inch-thick layer of the ganache. Place 6 raspberries on top of each ganache layer and press gently to anchor them. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
While the ganache sets, lay one sheet of the phyllo out on the countertop, keeping the rest covered with the kitchen towel. Use a pastry brush to spread about 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the entire surface of the phyllo sheet. (Start by brushing a line of butter lengthwise down the center and then fill in by brushing top to bottom from the center toward the edges. Brush all the way to the edges, where the phyllo is driest.) Liberally sieve powdered sugar over the buttered phyllo. Cover with a second sheet of phyllo and repeat with more butter and powdered sugar. Repeat with remaining 4 sheets, making a total of 3 double sheets.
Use a sharp paring knife to cut each of the double phyllo sheets in half from top to bottom and then again from left to right, giving you 4 rectangles for each double sheet, a total of 12 rectangles.
Place one raspberry ganache cake in the center of each rectangle of phyllo. Fold the phyllo up and over the cake and tuck the edges under. Lightly brush the tops with melted butter and place on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet.
The phyllo-wrapped cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for a few hours or in the freezer for 3 months if wrapped snugly in plastic wrap; to thaw, place in the refrigerator for an hour before baking. I usually freeze them on the baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap; when they’re frozen, I wrap the individual desserts with plastic wrap for long-term storage.
Baking and garnishing:
2/3 cup fresh raspberries
Bake the cakes in a preheated 400-degree oven on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes, until the phyllo begins to brown. Place on dessert plates, sieve powdered sugar over and put a few fresh berries on each plate. You can also put some swirls of raspberry sauce around the edges of the plate.
— Adapted from Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make at Home by Jacques Torres