This dense chocolate almond torte, witha luscious cream filling laced with kirsch and chopped red candiedcherries and drizzled with a chocolate glaze, makes a gloriousending to a special meal.
Recipe: Chocolate AlmondCherry Torte
Torte:3/4 cup ground blanched almonds1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt4 large eggs, separated3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use1/4 cup water1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract Sliced almonds, maraschino cherries or candied cherries,halvedFilling:1 cup cold whipping cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons kirsch (cherry brandy) or 1/4 teaspoonalmond extract 1/3 cup chopped red candied cherriesGlaze:1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tablespoons water 1 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375°F (175°C). Greasebottoms of three 8-inch round baking pans. Line bottoms withwax paper; grease paper.
For Torte: In small bowl mix togetheralmonds, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In medium bowl, beat egg yolks on mediumspeed of mixer for 3 minutes. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar; continuebeating 2 minutes.
Alternately add almond mixture with waterto egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed just until blended.Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites untilfoamy; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiffpeaks form.
Fold small amount of beaten egg whitesinto chocolate mixture; then gently fold chocolate mixtureinto remaining whites just until blended.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until top springsback when touched lightly in center. Cool 10 minutes; removefrom pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For Filling: Beat whipping cream, powderedsugar and brandy until stiff; fold in cherries.
Place one cake layer on serving plate;spread half of filling over top. Repeat, ending with plain layeron top.
For Glaze: Melt butter in small saucepanover low heat; add cocoa and water, stirring constantly untilslightly thickened. Remove from heat; gradually add powderedsugar and vanilla, beating with whisk until smooth and of spreadingconsistency. Add additional water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, ifneeded.
Spread on top of cake, allowing glazeto run down sides. Garnish with almonds and cherry halves.
Refrigerate until glaze is set. Refrigerateleftover torte.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
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