Berries in Wine Gateau
- Cookie Base for Cake:
- 1 C. plus 2 Tbs. unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C. sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut up
- 3 Tbs. solid shortening (or margarine)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 or 3 Tbs. ice water, as needed
- 3/4 C. sifted cake flour plus 1 tsp.
- Pinch salt
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut up
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh berries: red currants, raspberries, or strawberries halved or quartered Wine Gelatin Topping:
- 4 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 5 Tbs. cold water
- 1/2 C. boiling water
- 3 1/4 C. slightly sweet non-sparkling wine, e.g. Moselle, Sauternes, or equivalent
- 1/2 C. apricot preserves, strained
- 2/3 C. toasted sliced almonds
Cookie Base: Combine flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl or in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade. Combine ingredients or pulse the processor to blend. Add the butter and margarine or shortening and use 2 cross-cutting knives or pulse the processor to combine the fat and flour until mixture resembles dried rice. Add egg yolk, a Tbs. or two of ice water, and blend or pulse a couple of time, only until the pastry begins to clump together. Add a tiny bit more water if the dough is too dry. When the dough will cling together when pinched between your fingers, remove it from the bowl and turn it out onto wax paper. Wrap it into a ball and chill for about 30 minutes.
Roll out pastry and transfer to the bottom of a buttered 8 1/2-inch spring form pan. Bake at 375° F for 17 to 20 minutes or until golden. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the pan sides but leave the cookie on the bottom of the pan. This will form the base upon which the cake will be "constructed". Leave oven temperature at 375° F.
Prepare Cake: Position rack in center of oven. Spread bottom and sides of an 8 ½ -inch cake pan with solid shortening. Line bottom of pans with baking parchment or wax paper cut to fit, then grease paper. Dust pan with flour; tap out excess flour. Sift flour and salt onto piece of wax paper. Set the sifted on another piece of wax paper on a plate. Pick up the paper containing flour mixture and gently pour into the sifter. Just let it sit there waiting to be sifted when needed. Put the plate holding the sifter bear the mixer.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan; when melted, skim off and discard any white foamy residue that rises to the surface. Set butter - and a small bowl - aside. Combine eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set this over the bottom of a double boiler containing water that is hot to the touch, about 125° F. If water is too hot, it will cook the eggs rather than warm them. Stir the egg-sugar mixture constantly with a large whisk until it feels warm to the finger, 110° to 120° F. It will no longer be grainy because the sugar will be dissolved.
At once remove bowl from the heat and attack it to the electric mixer. Whip the egg-sugar syrup on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it triples in volume, is very thick and light-colored, and forms a flat ribbon falling back on itself when the beater is lifted. Add the vanilla or any other flavoring and whip for 2 or 3 seconds to blend. Remove bowl from mixer. Hold sifter over the batter bowl and sift a few Tbs. of the flour mixture onto the yolk foam. Gently fold it in with a rubber spatula or flat whisk. Repeat about 5 or 6 times to use up the flour, always sifting on a little flour and folding it in lightly before adding more.
Put about 1 ½ C. of the batter into the small bowl and fold the melted butter into it. Finally fold this butter mixture into the entire bowl of batter. Do this lightly without overworking the batter. Pour this génoise batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes, until the cake top is golden, springs back when lightly touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes our clean. CAUTION: do not open the oven door wide during the first 15 minutes or the temperature change may cause the cake to fall. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Glaze: Place the apricot preserves in a small saucepan and warm until it will spread easily. Also prepare the berries: Pick over, hull if necessary, rinse and dry gently on paper towels.
To assemble the cake: Spread about 1/3 C. apricot preserves on the cookie base in the springform pan. Cover this with the génoise cake slab. Strain 1/3 C. of remaining warm apricot preserves and discard the solids. Spread the strained preserves Over the top of the génoise layer. This glaze will help prevent the gelatin topping from soaking into the cake. Arrange the berries in the glaze on top of the cake. Refrigerate the cake in its pan while you prepare the gelatin topping.
Wine gelatin topping: Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl. Let it stand for about 3 minutes to soften, then add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the wine and stir. Set the gelatin bowl into a bowl of ice water and stir on and off for about 15 minutes, until the gelatin thickens and begins to mound on the spoon like a soft pudding; Do not let it get hard. At once remove the cake from the refrigerator and spoon the gelatin over the berries on top. Return the cake to the refrigerator and leave for a minimum of 3 hours to set the topping.
To unmold: Dampen a tea towel with very hot water, wring it out, and wrap the towel around the pan for a few seconds. Then slowly open the spring on the pan side; if the gelatin sticks, run a thin-bladed knife between the cake and the pan to loosen. Remove the pan sides. Leave the cake on pan bottom to serve. If you wish to garnish the sides of the cake. Warm remaining 1/3 C. of preserves and brush onto the cake sides. Press on toasted almond slices. In hot weather, refrigerate cake until serving.