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Chocolate and Sour Cherry Torta

Easter treat that deserved a post of its own!

Crust

  • 1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces plus more for greasing pan

Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%), finely chopped
  • ½ cup blanched almonds
  • ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups sour cherries in syrup, drained (from 24-ounce jar)
  • 1 bittersweet chocolate bar for shaving

For Crust: Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor; process for a few seconds to combine. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With machine running, add 3 tablespoons ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds. Turn out dough onto a work surface; flatten to form a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before using.

Heat oven to 350º with rack in middle. Grease the 9-inch springform pan with butter, then dust with flour. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Fit crust into pan. Chill in refrigerator until ready to fill.

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For Filling: Separate eggs, placing 3 yolks in one bowl and 2 whites in another (save remaining white for another use). In a heatproof bowl in a microwave oven, heat chopped chocolate at medium power at 15-second intervals, stirring between intervals, until melted, about 1½ minutes; set aside to cool. In the bowl of a food processor, combine almonds, flour and salt; pulse until mixture resembles fine flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat together butter and 7 tablespoons sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With machine running, add egg yolks one at a time, incorporating between additions. In a slow and steady stream, add melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low, then add almond flour, mixing just until incorporated.

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Fold in half the cherries. In a large, clean bowl, beat together egg whites and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until shiny, soft peaks form.

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Gently but thoroughly fold whites into chocolate mixture. Spread remaining cherries in bottom of prepared crust, then pour in batter.

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Bake until filling is puffed and just set, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove pan sides. Let cake cool completely.

Just before serving cake, hold chocolate bar with a paper towel. Pass a vegetable peeler over the side of the bar to create shavings. Pile shavings on top of cake. Dust with cocoa.

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