We lost a precious friend in the food blogging world early this month, when Selma from Selma’s table lost her battle to cancer, leaving us with nothing but shock and sadness at her untimely demise. She was an amazingly supportive blogger in a wonderful community called “Fiesta Friday”. I wish I knew her better, I wish I had met her in person, but I’m thankful for the few memories that I have of her. My thoughts go out to her family and friends, but I know that they are blessed to have known such a sweet lady, and to have made many memories with someone as amazing as her. To honor her and her wonderful skills that she displayed on her blog every day and those that we all came to know her by, we are taking part in a special Fiesta Friday event, where we all do something as a heartfelt tribute to her.
This is my tribute to Selma, a very talented food blogger with truly inspiring recipes and blog posts. She was a prominent figure in the Fiesta Friday community, a bright, helpful lady who was always full of kind and encouraging words for other food bloggers like myself, even when I was just starting out last year. This is my thank you to her, the one I was never able to convey to her. This is Selma’s delicious and decadent Flourless Balsamic Raspberry Chocolate Torte (Gluten-Free and Daily-Free friendly).
I have to say that Selma was incredible with her sourdough! As a huge bread fanatic, I always admired her sourdough bread, but I just haven’t gotten around to making it yet. So I thought about making one of her sourdough recipes, before I came across the cover image on her facebook page. That raspberry studded chocolate cake tin called out to me and I just had to answer. So I hunted down that recipe on her blog and found out that it was her Flourless Chocoalate and Raspberry Torte! I was intrigued by the way she made it, the list of ingredients and how beautiful it looked. You should absolutely check out her recipe, she gives LOTS of tips on how to make this beautiful torte.
I made the following very slight changes to her recipe –
I only made one half of the recipe, since I wanted it to be a treat for my husband and myself.
I increased the Balsamic vinegar content in the recipe. Selma used balsamic vinegar which I thought was a brilliant idea as it really makes the chocolate and raspberry flavours pop. I wanted the balsamic vinegar itself to be another subtle flavour profile in this dessert, while also enhancing the chocolate and raspberry flavours!
Flourless Balsamic Raspberry Chocolate Torte
- 0.9 oz / 25g unsalted butter or a dairy free substitute, or 1 ½ tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 oz / 113g dark chocolate 70% cocoa content, chopped (check to make sure it's dairy free)
- 4 oz / 113 g white sugar
- 3 large eggs separated
- ½ tsp salt flakes
- 1 tsp instant coffee or vanilla
- 3.5 oz / 100 g raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Butter and line 2 x 4.5 inch springform pans with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper rises 1-2 inches above the top rim of the pan (I also prepared an extra ½ cup ramekin by buttering it for the extra batter that might be left over).
- Place the chocolate, salt, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and butter (or oil) and melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-30 second bursts, stirring in between. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water (in a double boiler), making sure that the hot water does not make contact with the bowl or the chocolate.
- Leave the melted chocolate to cool, until you prepare the eggs.
- In a large bowl, start whisking the egg white with a hand beater until frothy. Turn the speed to high and gradually add 2 oz of the sugar while whisking. Whisk the egg whites till they have tripled in volume, glossy, thick, and have stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Add the suagr, coffee / vanilla to the egg yolks and whisk until the mix turns pale, thick and reaches the ribbon stage.
- Add the melted and cooled chocolate mix to the egg yolks. Mix through.
- Add ⅓ of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mix and fold through to loosen the mix (Selma recommends using a big metal spoon to avoid deflation of the egg white mix).
- Add the rest of the egg whites in 2 batches, folding them in gently until well mixed. Be very careful not to deflate the mixture.
- Pour the mixtures into the prepared springform pans. Pour the batter up to the top rim of the pan, and stud the cake with the raspberries. Pour any extra batter into the ramekin (this can be your “tester”).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cake rises and an inserted toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached to it.
- The cake will have risen when it comes out of the oven, but will deflate as it cools down.
- Serve at room temperature or after chilled in the fridge with extra berries, a dusting of icing sugar and optionally with some whipped cream (or a dairy free substitute).
I cannot tell you how much we loved this cake! This is a very easy dessert to put together and it came out just the way hers did, and it was everything that Selma said it would be. The crisp meringue top and the fudgy chocolatey center result in a fascinating texture profile. The balsamic flavour is present, but not overpowering, complementing the deep chocolate flavour and the sweet, tart raspberry flavour. It was a beautiful dessert for two, the perfect celebration of love and a life full of love that left us all too early. I will deeply miss not seeing her name appear in my comments anymore.
But like Thomas Campbell once said, To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. Rest in peace, dear Selma. We will all miss that lovely, sparkling diva, Selma Jeevanjee.
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