To prepare cake:
Position a rack in center of oven and preheat
to 350F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan. Line
pan bottom with a wax-paper round cut to fit.
Generously grease paper. Dust paper and pan
sides with flour, tapping out excess.
Combine eggs, sugar,
salt, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Over
very low heat, set bowl over a pan of almost
simmering water and warm mixture, stirring constantly,
until almost hot to the touch. Remove bowl from
pan of water; wipe off bowl. Beat mixture with
mixer set on high speed for 4 - 5 minutes, until
thick and about triple in volume. Lower mixer
speed to medium and continue beating for 4 -
6 minutes longer; mixture will deflate slightly
(which helps stabilize it). Combine flour and
cocoa powder in a sifter and sift over beaten
eggs. Using a rubber spatula, gently but quickly
fold in flour mixture, turning bowl and scraping
to the bottom to incorporate evenly. Add 1/2
cup of batter to butter and mix until blended.
Add butter mixture back to batter and continue
folding until just evenly incorporated but not
overmixed, being sure to scrape to bottom of
bowl. Immediately turn batter into pan, lightly
spreading out to edges.
to oven and bake for 27 - 33 minutes or until
cake springs back when lightly pressed in center,
and a toothpick inserted in thickest part comes
out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let
stand until thoroughly cooled. Run a knife round
pan edges to loosen cake sides. Release springform
sides. Place cake, with pan bottom attached,
cake-side down on a rack. Carefully remove pan
bottom, as the flat surface will be cake top.
Cake is best made ahead and stored, wrapped
airtight, for 8 hours (or refrigerated for up
to 3 days and frozen for up to 2 weeks).
To prepare mousse
Sprinkle gelatin over 2 1/2 tbs cold water in
small bowl; let stand to soften. Set raspberries
and syrup in a fine sieve over a bowl. Press
syrup and pulp through; discard seeds. Put berry
mixture in a 1-quart microwave-safe measure
or bowl. Microwave, uncovered, 3 minutes on
high, then 3 - 4 minutes on medium power until
mixture reduces to 1/2 cup. Alternatively, place
in a medium saucepan and simmer very gently
until reduced to 1/2 cup.
Add softened gelatin
to berries, stirring until gelatin dissolves.
Bring 1 cup cream to a boil over medium-high
heat. Add chocolate, stirring until it completely
melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in 1 tbs brandy.
Measure out a generous 1/3 cup melted chocolate
and stir into berry mixture. Cover remaining
chocolate and set aside at room temperature.
Refrigerate gelatin mixture until beginning
to set but not firm, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Whip remaining 1 2/3 cups cream with granulated
sugar until peaks are almost firm. Fold whipped
cream and vanilla into gelatin mixture. Peel
paper from cake bottom and discard, working
carefully as this flat, smooth surface will
serve as cake top. Using a large serrated knife,
slice cake into three layers. (If desired, add
cutting guides around cake by measuring and
marking sides into thirds with toothpicks.)
Return one layer (not the flat-surfaced bottom
layer to be used for top) to washed and dried
springform pan. Stir remaining 1 tbs brandy
into raspberry jam. Evenly cover the cake layer
in pan with half of raspberry jam.
Spread half of
chocolate-raspberry mousse evenly over layer.
If fresh berries are used, sprinkle half of
them over mousse. Top with second cake layer
and press down evenly. Evenly spread layer with
remaining jam, then with remaining mousse. Top
with berries, if used. Brush any loose crumbs
from flat surface of top layer. Center it, flat-side
up over mousse, pressing down all over until
cake is level. Cover and refrigerate for at
least 1 hour, until cake is cold and mousse
Carefully run a
knife, dipped in hot water and then dried, around
cake sides. Release cake from springform sides.
Set cake, still resting on springform pan bottom,
on a wire rack placed over a large plate or
tray (to catch drips). Smooth out mousse on
cake sides, if necessary. If the reserved chocolate
mixture has cooled completely and stiffened,
barely warm it over lowest heat, stirring gently,
until it is pourable but not runny. Pour generous
three fourths of glaze over cake top. Using
a long-bladed spatula or large knife and working
quickly, spread out glaze so it forms a thin
layer and runs over edges and covers cake sides.
For best appearance, use only a few light strokes
and let excess chocolate drip off.
Touch up sides
with remaining glaze. Carefully lift rack and
rap against counter several times so excess
chocolate runs off. Let stand until glaze begins
to set. Lift pan; wipe off any excess chocolate
from pan edge. Add large dab of glaze to center
of serving plate and press down pan bottom to
anchor it. Refrigerate cake until glaze sets
and mousse is well chilled, at least 2 hours.
Arrange or scatter some perfect berries on cake
top. If desired, also pipe whipped-cream rosettes
at even intervals around edge of cake top.
Serve cake chilled.
Cut with a large knife, wiping off blade between
cuts. Gateau prepared with fresh raspberries
will keep 24 hours; without fresh berries, 48
10 - 14