Chocolate Raspberry Diamonds
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
6-1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 lg. egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
5 lg. egg whites
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
3-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 pint red raspberries
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Lightly coat the bottom and sides of 2 10x15-inch baking sheets with the melted
butter. Line each sheet with parchment paper, then lightly coat the parchment
paper with more melted butter. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In the top of a double boiler that is set over medium heat, place the remainder
of the 1/2 pound butter and the 6-1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate. Tightly cover
with plastic wrap and allow to heat for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover
and stir until smooth. Hold at room temperature. Place the egg yolks and 1 cup
sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on
high until the mixture is lemon-colored and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for another 2 minutes.
In another dry bowl, using the whip attachment, beat the egg whites until they
are stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate mixture into
the egg yolks. Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture
stirring to incorporate. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until
completely incorporated, with no white streaks remaining.
Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared pans, smoothing the batter. Bake on
the top and middle shelves in the oven for 20-22 minutes, rotating the sheets
halfway through baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. While
the cakes are cooling, toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in the 350°F oven
for 10-15 minutes. (They will begin to give off a toasted scent when ready.
Watch carefully, as they can burn easily.) Place the hot nuts in a large, clean
kitchen towel and rub vigorously to skin. Allow the nuts to cool, then place
them in a food processor and chop them to 1/8-inch pieces. Invert 1 sheet of
cake onto a large cutting board (larger than the pan). Place in the refrigerator
for 30 minutes. Hold the remaining cake at room temperature until needed.
To prepare the ganache, heat the heavy cream, 4 tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup sugar
in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the
mixture to a boil. Place 2 pounds of chocolate in amedium stainless steel bowl.
Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand 6-7 minutes. Stir
until smooth. Combine 3 cups ganache with the chopped hazelnuts. Hold this
mixture at room temperature to use for filling. Remove 1 more cup of ganache and
place it in a bowl in the refrigerator (to be used to decorate the diamonds).
Keep the remaining ganache at room temperature until needed.
To make the raspberry filling, purée the raspberries and 2 tbsp. sugar in a food
processor for 12-15 seconds. Strain the purée in a fine mesh sieve over a
stainless steel bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To assemble, remove the cake from the refrigerator. Using a cake spatula, spread
the raspberry purée over the cake, to the edges. Spread the hazelnut ganache
over the raspberry filling, to the edges. Invert the other cake layer on top of
the ganache covered layer. Remove the parchment paper from the second layer and
press the layers together to hold them. Place the entire cake in the freezer for
1 hour. Remove the cake from the freezer. Using a very sharp serrated knife, cut
away the uneven edges of the cake so it will measure 9x13-1/2-inches. Use a
serrated knife to cut the cake width wise into 9 1-1/2-inch strips. Trim 1
diagonally cut piece from each end of the strips, then cut the strip diagonally
3 times to form 4 evenly sized diamonds from each strip. Place a cooling rack on
a baking sheet with sides (a jelly roll pan isperfect). Place 9-12 diamonds on
the rack. Using the room temperature ganache, pour 2 tbsp. ganache over each
diamond, coating the tops and sides. Using a large fork, remove the coated
diamonds from the rack and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place
the sheet in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes. Scrape the ganache
from the rack and pan and return it to the bowl of room temperature ganache.
Warm the ganache over a double boiler to the right pouring consistency. Repeat
the coating process with the remaining diamonds. Transfer the refrigerated
ganache to a pastry bag that has been fitted with a medium-sized star tip.
Decorate each diamond with a ganache star. Refrigerate the diamonds for at least
1 hour before serving. Allow the diamonds to come to room temperature for 10-15
minutes before serving.