Chocolate raspberry cake
David and I took a trip today to the towpath we used to walk along when we first met, the place where we first intentionally spent time together, where we first kissed
, twenty years ago today. Twenty years! It seemed as though the same old fellow in the same straw hat was riding on the same tractor and blocking the narrow winding road. It seemed as if the same birds were nesting in the same places. Of course it couldn’t have been the same birds, but it was probably their descendants, singing lustily in the vivid, shifting new leaves, so hard to see clearly, like memories or heralds along the path. Twenty years! I must admit I felt a little overwhelmed, to think about how much our lives have changed. To think about the people we were then, and how shy and uncertain I felt. I was afraid of long silences, but almost more afraid of speech–afraid to disappoint or be disappointed. It’s strange to think about how comfortable silence is now, and how full of promise, because I love talking with David and I have never been disappointed when he spoke. And to think of all the nonsensical ideas I’ve prattled about in twenty years, and how he’s come not just to tolerate this, but to anticipate it, and then to discuss it so intelligently that he makes my nonsense make sense. Almost as if he’d given it some thought, as if his thoughts had been wandering on the same strange roads. It boggles my mind that a person can spend twenty years so closely bonded to another person: sharing the same food, watching the same movies, listening to the same music, raising the same children, dreaming in the same bed, and it’s never boring, it’s constantly surprisingly wonderfully euphoric, in a glowing, peaceful sort of way that’s actually impossible to describe. And then the boys! So like us–so strange in all the ways we’re strange (poor lads) and so beautifully strange like just themselves and nobody else on earth. Twenty years ago we had long lazy days stretching before us, we had nowhere to be and not much to do. In my fading memory, my worries seemed so slight and easily unravelled. We filled the days up with each other, and now we have responsibilities and worries and decisions, which I can’t imagine getting any easier as we grow older. But we have one another to face it all with, we’ll take it on together. Well, I feel more grateful than words can say, so I’ll stop talking now.
This is sort of like a flourless cake, because it’s rich and dense, but it does have a tiny bit of flour in it. It also has almonds, lots of chocolate, raspberry jam and framboise. You could replace the framboise with chambourd, or any other fruity liqueur that you like. And you can use any kind of jam you like–you can experiment with different combinations!! Of course you should eat this with raspberries, but we gobbled all of ours down before I could take a picture, so the strawberries agreed to stand in for them.
Here’s Listen to Me, by Buddy Holly.
3/4 + 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup flour
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup framboise or chambord
1/4 cup raspberry or black berry jam.
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a saucepan over a bigger saucepan full of water, melt the butter and 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the eggs and icing sugar, and process till smooth. Add the vanilla, almonds, flour cornstarch and salt, and process till the almonds are well-ground and the mixture is smooth. Add the framboise and the jam, and process again. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour into a buttered and floured cake pan. I also put a square of tinfoil in the center and butter and flour that, to make it easier to get the cake out at the end.
Bake 30 – 35 minutes, till it’s firm to the touch and pulling away from the edges. Let cool, turn out onto a plate and serve with raspberries and whipped cream.