Its a national holiday in the US – Memorial Day – and in my opinion time to be grateful for our standard of living and peace – more so than maybe on Thanksgiving. To be honest – I take it for granted to live in peace – and can’t even imagine, nor do I ever want to, living in times where all you worry about is the question if you or your loved ones will still be alive the next day or even the next minute or if you will have food to eat and a roof over your head.
Memorial Day is a day of reflection, honor and pride. Its still is a little bit strange for me as a German who lives in the US to experience “national pride” almost every day; German’s don’t “showcase” a lot of “pride to be German” – which was one of the outcomes after WWII. But I do have to say now that I live for over 16 years in the United States of America I can see why Americans pride themselves as the greatest nation on earth and lots of nations do owe the American women and men in the military their lives and standard of living. Do I agree with America’s overall stand on their Military policies and think everything is rosy…..well I am partial; sometimes I think the American nation gets fooled by politicians that “America” has to protect the one or other country for peace or human rights reasons but in reality some greedy lobbyists had the upper hand in making sure their profits are protected and not a particular country per se…but that’s just me and my conspiracy theories. In the end I am very grateful for all the women and men who make sure we can go about our daily lives in peace and just have to worry about the things that we put on ourselves.
So today I am happy and grateful for living in peace and for the people who chose and continue to choose to protect this country in the past, the now and the future!
With that being said, its time to fill our bellies with a special treat – A German “Torte” – A Torte is a “festive cake”, usually made with cream and a “Tortenguss” – that’s a liquid fruit juice you pour over the torte at the very end that holds is all together and gives it a nice tangy taste to complement the sweeter cream filling. A Torte usually gets made on a Saturday to then be eaten on Sunday or holidays around 3:00 p.m. together with a good cup of coffee and shared with friends and family.
This recipe comes in very handy right now as the raspberries are just about to come in – I would say 2 more weeks here in the Pacific Northwest we should have a full harvest of raspberries and this recipe can use up a good chunk of your fresh garden (or farmers market) raspberries.
Panna Cotta Raspberry Torte – makes 10-12 pieces
- 300 gram (2,5 cups) crushed Amarettini (Almond cookies)
- 100 gr (almost 1 stick) melted butter
- 3 pouches of Gelatin
- 1 liter (4 cups) of heavy whipping cream
- Peel and Juice of 1 Lime – if you like it more tangy, double the lime juice and peel
- 250 (1 cup) powdered sugar
- 600 grams (4-5 cups) raspberries
- Cover the bottom of a medium size spring form (10 inches) with parchment paper. Mix the crushed Amarettini and melted butter together, pour into the round baking spring form and press firmly to the bottom of the baking form, making a cake crust.
- Pour 1/2 a cup of cream on a wide plate and sprinkle the 2 pouches of gelatin evenly over the cream.
- Heat up 1,5 cups of cream with 200 grams of powdered sugar, lime peel and juice to a light boil. Take the mixture off the heat and mix in the cold Gelatin/cream mix and stir very well. Let the mixture cool down. When it starts to thicken, beat the rest of the cream (2 cups) to stiff peeks and fold the beaten cream gently into the cooled down and not yet firm cream/lime/sugar mixture. Then pour it over the Amarettini crust and cool for 5 hours covered in the fridge.
- After the cake has rested for 5 hours, start making the “Tortenguss”. Sprinkle 1 pouch of gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water an set aside. Then cook 3 cups of raspberries with 50 grams of powdered sugar until the raspberries break down and liquefy and press the mixture through a strainer catching the juice in a bowl. Mix in the gelatin/water mix and mix very well until the gelatin is all liquefied. Set the “Tortenguss”- this mixture of fruit and gelatin aside and let cool down.
- Distribute the rest of your raspberries evenly over the torte and then pour the “Tortenguss” (the cooled out raspberry liquid) over the cake. Cover it with cling wrap and let it cool for another couple hours or over night.
- When the Torte is ready to be eaten, make sure to loosen the edge of the Torte with a knife and then open the spring form, you don’t want the hardened cream to stick on the sides of the form and when you open it up to rip your Torte apart. Also make sure to cut small pieces (this Torte is “rich) with a wide knife and clean it after each cut to get clean straight cuts. Its a little bit tough to cut the Amarettini bottom, you will have to be a little bit more firm cutting the bottom.