Sunday, June 13, 2010
Almond and Cherry Torte
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...A happy convergence of incidents led to the creation of this buttery torte. While sorting through my pantry, I found a half-used container of glaceed cherries that were still edible and soft enough to use. The prior evening I'd stumbled on a, new-to-me, site called Cake Crumbs and Cooking The feature that day had been a cherry cake that sounded like it would be perfect for tea or dessert. A version of the recipe also appeared in Delia Online and in the BBC Good Food Magazine. Thus, armed with cherries and several recipes, all of which had been well-received, I began to make my first ever cherry cake. The first step was to convert ingredients from metric to standard US measure. That done, I made a few changes to the base recipe to reflect the fact I had no self-rising flour and only half the cherries suggested in the original recipe. Undeterred, I carried on and within two hours had a lovely cake with a soft buttery crumb and marvelous almond flavor. Unfortunately, while they added texture to the cake the taste of the cherries was barely perceptible. In an effort to keep the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake, I halved and rinsed the cherries as had been suggested. I took the additional step of tossing them with flour before adding them to the cake batter. All that changed nothing. They sank anyway and probably lost flavor when their syrup was washed away. The strange thing is that I liked the cake and found the fruit almost superfluous. The cake is barely sweet but the almond meal and topping make it extremely flavorful. It is far more like a Viennese torte that a cherry cake. Would I make it again? Not with glaceed cherries, unless I had leftover bounty from my Christmas cooking. While I've heard some classify this dessert as being cheap as chips, it is not inexpensive to make and, while it is lovely, I like more bang for my buck. For those of you who are curious, here's the recipe.
Almond and Cherry Torte...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, adapted from several British sources
2 sticks (8-oz.) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 small container (8-oz.) glace cherries, halved and rinsed
1 cup (4-oz.) ground almonds
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (2-oz.) flaked almonds
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of a high sided 8-inch cake pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease paper. Dust bottom and sides of pan with flour.
2) Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated. Add almond extract and mix to combine.
3) Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Fold into egg mixture. Fold in cherries, almonds and milk.
4) Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Level top and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 1¼ -1½ hrs or until cake has risen and is firm to the touch.
5) Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Turn pan onto wire rack to cool completely.
6) Dust top of cake with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Toscatarta - One Perfect Bite
Lemon and Almond Tart - One Perfect Bite
Chinese-Style Almond Cookies - One Perfect Bite