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White Chocolate Patty Cake

12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 Tbsps. water
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted

melted butter, for greasing the pans

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to
325F. Brush the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans
with a light coating of melted butter, line with parchment paper
rounds, and lightly butter the paper; set aside. Heat an inch of
water in the bottom of a double boiler. Put the chocolate. butter,
and the 2 Tbsps. water in the top of the double boiler and heat
over low heat, whisking all the while, until the chocolate and
butter are melted. The mixture may seem broken or curdled, but it
will come together almost completely when it is whisked (If it
doesn't, the cake will still be fine.) Remove the pan from the heat
and whisk vigorously to blend.

The ideal method for mixing this cake is to beat the yolks and 1/2
cup of of sugar together, then keep them mixing on low speed and,
while they're mixing, beat the whites in another bowl. If you have
both a standing and a hand-held mixer, you can do it this way. If
not, follow these instructions for whites first: In a mixer fitted
with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they form
soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Still beating, and 1/4 cup of the
sugar, and continue mixing until the whites are stiff but still
shiny, 2 to 3 minutes more. Gently - very gently - transfer the
meringue to another bowl and begin work on the yolks.

Working in the mixer (there's no need to wash the bowl), this time
fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 10 yolks and the
remaining 1/2 cup sugar on high speed for 2 minutes; scrape down
the bowl and continue to beat for 2 minutes more, or until the
mixture is slightly thickened and pale yellow.

Add the melted chocolate to the yolks and increase the mixer speed
to medium; beat for about 30 seconds to blend. Remove the bowl
from the mixer and, working with a rubber spatula, gently fold in
the sifted cake flour. Pile 1/3 of the egg whites onto the mixture
and stir them in with the spatula to lighten the batter. Gently
fold in the remaining whites.

Baking the Cake -- Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth
the tops. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted
in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to
cooling racks and let them stand for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes
onto cardboard cake rounds (or the rounds from tart pans with
removable bottoms) can cool to room temperature, with the parchment
rounds still in place. When the cakes are completely cool, remove
the parchment paper, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

The Crush

2 8-ounce pkgs frozen whole raspberries in syrup, thawed or still frosty
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Put the frozen raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the work bowl
of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and whirl until
smooth, 15 to 20 seconds. Push the mixture through a strainer;
You should have about 1 cup. If you want, you can make more
raspberry crush and use the extra as sauce to decorate the plates.

Finishing the Cake -- To finish the cake, remove the layers from
the refrigerator and press down on the edges with your fingers,
patty-cake fashion. Spoon half of the raspberry crush onto one of
the layers and spread to even. Top with the other layer, spoon on
the remaining crush, spread it to smooth, and top with fresh berries,
placing them close together in a single layer. The cake should be
refrigerated until just before serving time, or for up to 8 hours.
Bring the cake bake to a little cooler than room temperature before

To serve, if you've made more crush, drizzle some in an abstract
pattern on each dessert plate, and top with a slice of cake. To
get a clean cut, heat the blade of a serrated knife under hot
running water and wipe the blade dry before each cut.


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