Raspberry Banyuls reduction:
1 1/4 cups frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup Banyuls wine*
Chocolate almond cake:
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream for serving
*Note: Banyuls is a sweet red wine from France that is available from specialty retail wine merchants.
1. Make reduction: Combine raspberries, granulated sugar and Banyuls in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then strain and cool (reduction should measure 1 cup of liquid).
2. Make chocolate almond cakes: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease eight 5-ounce oven-proof soufflé cups with shortening. Dust cups with flour and tap out excess.
3. In a food processor, pulse almonds and 3 tablespoons sugar until nuts are very finely ground. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine heavy cream, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate. Microwave on 40% power for 1 minute, 15 seconds, or until mixture is thoroughly melted. Whisk until smooth and let cool slightly.
4. In bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs and remaining sugar and whip on high speed until mixture has tripled in volume and is pale yellow in color. Fold in ground almonds, then fold in cooled chocolate mixture. Divide among prepared soufflé cups, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until cakes are puffed and tops begin to form small cracks. Run tip of thin knife around edge to release, then remove from cups and serve immediately with Raspberry Banyuls Reduction and sweetened whipped cream.
The Signature Room, 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611; 312-787-9596; www.signatureroom.com.