Cherishing Blueberries

Even though blueberries are not native to the hot, tropical weather in India, they are off late assuming much credence. Thanks to the rising crop of wellness-conscious millennials who crave gourmet delights which a touch of goodness. Blueberries score high on the health and wellness card. Being low in fat, rich in fibre and antioxidants, they are known to combat the effects of dementia, prevent cell damage that leads to cancer and protect heart health.

Chef Manoj Painuly from the Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru enjoys working with berries and crafting out an array of delectable desserts. Chef Painuly thought, ‘’why not create some desserts with blueberries for discerning guests in Bengaluru who crave for a global palate?’’ Chef believes blueberries have gained immense popularity in India and are now labelled as superfoods by health aficionados. ‘’People now incorporate them into desserts, morning smoothies and superfood bowls.’’

Here’s Chef’s recipe of Chocolate Blueberry Torte

Ingredients

200 gms bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped

200 gms unsalted butter, chopped

4 no eggs, separated

1½ tbsp, brandy  (optional)

200 gms granulated sugar

100 gms almond flour/ground almonds

¼ tbsp salt

200 gms blueberry jam

Cocoa powder for dusting

Method 

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch/20cm (or a 9-inch/23 cm) spring form pan. Wrap the outside bottom and sides of the pan with aluminium foil to prevent leaking. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heat-proof bowl and microwave in 20 to 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Alternatively, you can set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and stir occasionally until melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place egg yolks and ½ cup (100g) sugar, and whisk by hand for a minute until pale and thick. Stir in chocolate mixture, brandy, almonds, blueberry jam and salt. In a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs and the remaining ½ cup of sugar on high speed until thick soft peaks form. Using a spatula, fold one-third of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until mixed. Fold in the remaining mixture in two additions until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smoothen the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs. The cake should be set on the sides but still wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely set. Furthermore, sift cocoa powder over cake before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Relish the blueberry torte!

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