A splendid chocolate almond torte witha ricotta candied cherry filling and frosted with fluffly cocoawhipped cream.
Recipe: Italian Cherry RicottaTorte
Torte:1 1/2 cups ground blanched almonds2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt8 large eggs, separated1 1/2 cups granulated sugar – divideduse2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Greasebottoms of two 9-inch round baking pans; line with parchmentor wax paper. Grease wax paper lining, leaving sides of pansungreased.
For Cake: In medium bowl, combine almonds,flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat egg yolks on mediumspeed of mixer 3 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beatinganother 2 minutes.
Add almond/flour mixture alternately withwater to egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed just until blended.Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites untilfoamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiffpeaks form.
Gently fold chocolate mixture into beatenegg whites. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until top springsback when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pansto wire racks. Cool completely.
With long serrated knife, cut each layerin half horizontally to make 4 thin layers. Refrigerate layerswhile preparing filling and whipped cream.
For Ricotta Cherry Filling: In small bowl,beat heavy cream until stiff.
In a large bowl, beat ricotta cheese andpowdered sugar until smooth.
Fold whipped cream into cheese mixturejust until blended. Stir in candiedcherries and almond extract.
For Cocoa Whipped Cream: In a large bowl,combne powdered sugar and cocoa in large bowl; add heavy creamand vanilla and beat just until stiff. (Do not overbeat.)
To Assemble: Place one cake layer on servingplate; spread with 1/3 of the Ricotta Cherry Filling. Top withanother cake layer. Repeat procedure with remaining filling andcake layers.
Frost sides and top of torte with CocoaWhipped Cream.
Garnish with candied cherries or almonds,if desired. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Ricotta Cherry Filling:1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream
1 3/4 cups (15-ounces) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Cocoa Whipped Cream:2/3 cup powdered sugar1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder2 cup cold heavy or whipping cream2 teaspoons vanilla extractCandied cherries or sliced almonds forgarnish (optional)
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
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