Chocolate Hazelnut Mascarpone Torte
CHOCOLATE BUTTER CAKE:
PACKED LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
STRONGLY BREWED COFFEE,
AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
CARAMELIZED HAZELNUTS AND,
MASCARPONE CREAM FILLING:
MASCARPONE CHEESE (ITALIAN,
LIGHT CORN SYRUP
Make the caramelized hazelnuts and hazelnut praline:
Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook
without stirring for 4 to 6 minutes until the syrup caramelizes. Immediately
remove the pan from the heat. Add the 12 perfect hazelnuts to the caramel and
toss to coat. With an oiled fork, remove each hazelnut, letting the excess
caramel drip back into the pan, and place them at one end of the prepared
baking sheet. Quickly stir the 3/4 cup of hazelnuts into the remaining hot
caramel. Pour the hazelnut praline onto the other end of the baking sheet.
Cool the praline for 30 minutes until hard. Reserve the individual caramelized hazelnuts for decorating the cake.
Coarsely chop the praline. In a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, process the praline for 35 to 45 seconds until finely ground. Transfer
the praline to a bowl and set aside.
Make the framboise syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over medium heat,
stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves . Stop
stirring; raise the heat to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil. Remove
the pan from the heat and stir in the framboise liqueur and vanilla.
Make the mascarpone cream filling:
In a 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the wire whip
attachment, beat together the mascarpone cheese, sugar and framboise liqueur
at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. While continuing to beat the
mixture, gradually add the heavy cream; increase the speed to medium-high and
beat the mascarpone mixture until soft peaks form and the mixture is
spreadable. Cover and refrigerate the cream until ready to use.
Assemble the cake:
Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake lengthwise into 3 long strips of
equal width. Place one cake strip on a wire rack.
Using a pastry brush, moisten the top of the chocolate cake strip with some
of the framboise syrup. Using an offset metal cake spatula, spread 1/4 cup of
the mascarpone cream over the moistened cake strip. Cover the cream-coated
strip with a layer of raspberries, placed stem-side-down in even rows over the cake (this will take approximately 2 1/3 cups of raspberries). Scrape l 1/2
cups of the mascarpone cream on top of the raspberries. Using a small offset
metal spatula smooth the cream into an even layer, allowing it to settle into
the gaps in between the raspberries. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the ground praline
over the cream layer. Place a second cake strip on top of the praline; repeat
the preceding layering process and top with the final cake strip. Reserve the
remaining ground praline to garnish the sides of the cake. Spread the
remaining mascarpone cream in a thin even layer around the sides of the cake,
filling in all the gaps. Place the wire rack with the cake on it in the
refrigerator for l hour to set.
Make the glaze:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate.
Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Allow the glaze to cool for 5 minutes.
Glaze the cake:
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place the wire rack on a baking
sheet. Pour the glaze over the cake, covering it completely. While the glaze
is still wet, put the remaining ground praline around the sides of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the glaze is set. Garnish the
top of the cake with the caramelized hazelnuts.
Note: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, or
until golden beneath the skins. Wrap the nuts in a clean towel and cool
completely. Transfer the cooled hazelnuts to a large sieve and rub them back
and forth to remove the loose skins.
Make the chocolate butter cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 F.
Line the bottom of a 17 1/2-by-11 1/2-inch jelly roll pan with parchment or
waxed paper. Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and
salt. Sift the flour mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and set aside.
In a 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the paddle
attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed for 1 minute, until creamy.
While continuing to beat the butter, gradually add the granulated and brown
sugars, stopping the machine and scraping down the side of the bowl as
necessary. Beat the butter/sugar mixture at medium-high speed for 2 minutes,
until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Reduce the
speed to low and alternately add one-third of the reserved dry ingredients and one-third of the coffee. In two more batches, alternately add the remaining
dry ingredients and coffee, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, using a metal cake spatula,
smooth the batter evenly into the pan. Bake the cake for 25 to 28 minutes,
until the sides just begin to pull away from the pan and the surface springs
back when lightly touched. Cool the cake in the pan set on a wire rack for 10
minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack; carefully peel off the parchment
paper and allow the cake to cool completely.