3/4 cup heavy
1 vanilla bean
5 large egg
yolks, at room temperature
Pour the heavy
cream into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the soft,
pulpy seeds into the pan, toss in the pod, and stir to mix. Bring just to
the boil over low heat.
a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together just to
blend. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk, continuously
and energetically, until the mixture is very pale and
to the touch.
Remove the yolks from the heat. Gradually but steadily
the cream into
the yolks, pod and all.
Put the bowl
back over the hot water and let it sit there, with the heat turned off,
whisking occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cream thickens. Set
the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and allow the
mixture to cool, whisking now and then When the custard is cool to the
touch, retrieve and discard the vanilla bean (or clean it and save it to
sugar) and push the mixture through a strainer into a clean bowl.
bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The custard can
the day before and kept covered and refrigerated until needed.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup Chambord or other raspberry liqueur
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
Center a rack
in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan and
dust the inside, including the center tube, with flour; tap
out the excess.
1 cup of the sugar, the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda onto a
sheet of parchment or waxed paper; add the salt.
In a large
bowl which together the yolks, oil, water, and vanilla extract until
blended. Whisk the dry ingredients gradually into the yolk mixture; set
Beat the 6 egg
whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or work with
a hand-held mixer. At low speed, beat the whites until they’re foamy and
form very soft peaks. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually
add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until the whites are thick and
shiny and hold peaks. (If you run a finger through the whites, it should
leave a smooth, even path.) Fold about one third of the whipped egg whites
into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then turn the yolk mixture into the
whites and fold it in gently but thoroughly.
Cake – Pour and scrape the batter into the pan. Place the pan
jelly-roll pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is springy
to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. The top of
the cake may show some cracks and a toothpick inserted into the center of
the cake should come out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack and let
cool for at least 25 minutes before unmolding it onto a rack and allowing
to cool completely. The cake can be made ahead, wrapped airtight, and
for up to a month; thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.
the Cake – Place the cooled cake on a large serving plate. Toss
raspberries with the Chambord and spoon them, with their liqueur, into
center of the cake, filling the opening just to the top. Spoon the cold
crème brûlée over the berries and drizzle it down the sides of the cake.
crème brûlée on the top of the cake with a little of the sugar
with a blowtorch*, close to the cake, caramelize the sugar.
sprinkling on sugar and caramelizing the top of the cake until
it is evenly
– The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and kept at room
temperature, or made a month ahead and frozen. The crème brûlée should be
made several hours ahead, or it can be made the day before, However, once
you assemble the cake and caramelize the crème brûlée,
you must serve it