Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day Italian Cherry Torte

Zeynep and I made this torte with father's day in mind. The recipe is from Alice Medrich's Cocolat. Initially, we wanted to glaze the dessert with white chocolate such that the underlying dark chocolate torte would not show through. However, when we realized somewhere along the way that this would require too much white chocolate, we gave up on the idea. We pressed sliced almonds on the less-than-perfect sides and finished the torte with marzipan roses and dark chocolate leaves. I usually serve this torte without the glaze, with a simple dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa, but on this occasion, we tried to dress it up a little bit, and found out that the white chocolate glaze offset the tartness of the cherries and complemented the bittersweetness of the chocolate very well.
  • 1/4 c Amareno cherries, drained and quartered
  • 1/4 c Maraschino cherry syrup
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c plus 3 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2/3 c ground, blanched almonds
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • White Chocolate glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line bottom of 8" springform pan with parchment paper. In small bowl, combine cherries with maraschino syrup and almond extract; set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in a small bowl placed in a barely simmering water bath, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks and 1/2 c sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the chocolate, flour and almonds. Add the cherries and syrup. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 3 tbs sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry. Fold one-fourth of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining whites. Turn batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about 1 inch from edge of torte shows moist crumbs. The center of cake will test very moist.

Cool torte. The cake will have risen and the fallen in the center, leaving a higher rim of cake around the sides and possibly some cracking. Level and unmold the torte onto an 8" corrugated cake circle. Glaze with White Chocolate glaze and decorate as desired.

White Chocolate Glaze

(Makes enough for a 8"-10" torte.)
  • 10 oz white chocolate, cut into tiny bits
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbs corn syrup
Bring cream and corn syrup to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Pour in the cut bits of chocolate and stir until completely smooth and all of the chocolate is melted. Cool the glaze to 100F and use.