Chocolate Raspberry Torte

1-1/3 cups ail-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
Chocolate Filling & Frosting (recipe follows)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 round pans, 8 or 9 inches. in mixing bowl combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside. In small mixer bowl beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Beat just until stiff peaks form. In second small mixer bowl beat 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold into beaten egg whites. In same bowl used for whipping cream combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and almond extract. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed until thick and lemon-colored; gently fold into creamed mixture.

Gradually fold flour mixture into cream mixture folding gently just until ingredients are combined (mixture will be thick). Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

Prepare Chocolate Filling and Frosting. Split each cake laver in half horizontally. Place one layer on serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup chocolate filling. Sprinkle with 1 tbs almond; repeat with 2 more layers. Top with last layer; spread with raspberry preserves. Frost sides of cake with remaining Chocolate filling. Pipe top edge with sweetened whipped cream or topping, if desired. Sprinkle edge and center with remaining almonds; refrigerate until serving time.

Makes 16 servings.

Chocolate Filling and Frosting:
In small cold mixer bowl combine 2/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup European style cocoa. Add 1-1/2 cups chilled whipping cream and 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract; beat until stiff.

About 3 cups fi1ling and frosting.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana