Servings

12

Cook

1 hr 15 min

Blackberry season is here and I couldn’t be happier. I love those plump juicy berries that grow wild at our back gate and it’s become a bit of a family tradition to pick all that we can find and then turn them into something special.

Make sure you allow plenty of time for this cake, as it needs a fair bit of chilling time.

Blackberry Torte

INGREDIENTS
For the Shortcrust Pastry
  • 120g plain flour
  • 80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp double cream
For the Chocolate Sponge
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g plain flour
  • 45g corn flour
  • 50g ground walnuts
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the Blackberry Filling
  • 600g frozen or fresh blackberries
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 500g Quark
  • 400g double cream
  • 9 ½ gelatine leaves, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
For the Chocolate Ganache
  • 170g dark chocolate, chopped (min 70% cocoa)
  • 85g Double cream
For the White Chocolate Decorations
  • 150ml double cream
  • 50g white chocolate
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ gelatine leaf, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water (see Notes)
To Decorate and Finish
  • 3 – 4 tbsp of blackberry conserve
  • 80 – 100g fresh blackberries
  • Some edible flowers (optional)
METHOD
  1. For the Shortcrust Pastry, place the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and pulse in short bursts until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cream and pulse until combined.
  2. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently bring in together with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Mark out a 23cm circle on a sheet of baking parchment. Roll out the pastry to fit the circle and to a 3 – 4mm thickness. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  4. For the Chocolate Sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a 23cm springform and line the base with baking parchment.
  5. Beat the egg yolks with 60g of the caster sugar until pale and creamy.
  6. In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff then slowly add the remaining 40g of the sugar and beat until thick and glossy.
  7. Sift together the flour, cornflour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir in the ground walnuts.
  8. Fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolks. Add the remaining egg whites and then the flour mixture. Gently but swiftly fold everything together until combined.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Leave to cool completely before cutting in half horizontally.
  11. For the Blackberry Filling, in a blender or with a stick hand blender, puree the blackberries with the icing sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice and then pass everything through a fine sieve.
  12. Reserve 50g of the blackberry puree and beat the remaining blackberry puree into the Quark until incorporated.
  13. Heat the reserved puree until it begins to bubble around the edges and stir in the squeezed out gelatine to dissolve. Leave to cool.
  14. Stir 2 tbsp of the quark mixture into the gelatine and then stir in the remaining quark mixture. Chill until just beginning to set around the outside.
  15. Beat the cream until thick and creamy then fold into the quark-berry mixture until combined.
  16. To assemble the cake, place the shortcrust pastry base onto a serving plate and spread with the blackberry conserve.
  17. Top with a chocolate sponge and enclose with a cake ring and leaving a ½cm gap between the cake and the cake ring.
  18. Spoon over half of the quark berry mixture making sure it fills the space around the sides of the bottom cake.
  19. Add the second sponge and spread with the remaining quark berry mixture, again making sure it reaches down the sides.
  20. Chill the cake for a minimum of 4 hours.
  21. To make the Chocolate Ganache, place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl or jug.
  22. Heat the cream until just beginning to bubble around the edges and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for 2 minutes before stirring until smooth then leave to cool.
  23. Remove the cake ring from the cake. (I use a cook’s blowtorch to soften the edges and making it easier to remove the ring).
  24. Pour over the ganache and allowing some to fall over the sides.
  25. To make the White Chocolate Ganache, break the chocolate into a large bowl.
  26. Add the squeezed out gelatine leaf and the vanilla paste to the chocolate.
  27. Bring 80ml of double cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  28. Beat the remaining 70ml of double cream to a soft peak and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill until the mixture is just setting before spooning it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  29. To Decorate, pipe small to medium shapes around the cake and pile the fresh blackberries into the centre.
  30. Decorate with edible flowers if using.

Note: I have used Dr. Oetker Diamond Leaf Gelatine. If you are using a different brand, please refer to the manufactures instructions.

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