This recipe originally started as a 9" torte. I still often make it that way, but I've become entranced with how cute it turns out when baked in a mini-cheesecake pan. I have a thing for cute, individual portion desserts. I'm in therapy for it...
This dessert is fudgy like a good brownie, but with a little sophisticated twist. I love the subtle flavor boost of the almonds and I adore the moist, tart addition of the sour cherries! The chocolate in this dessert is wonderful and present, but it is not the only star of the show. I don't think I've ever had someone refuse seconds!
Sour Cherry Chocolate Torte
Yield: 1 9" torte OR 12 mini-tortes
1 lb. can red sour pitted cherries packed in water
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup almond flour or ground almonds
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup sifted AP flour
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9” spring-form pan or mini-cheesecake pan and dust with fine bread crumbs. Drain cherries and spread on paper towel and let stand. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler; set aside to cool slightly.
Grind almonds to fine powder, if necessary, and set aside. Cream butter in a bowl, then add vanilla and almond extracts. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs one at a time. On low speed, add chocolate and almonds. Add flour, stirring only to mix.
Place half of the batter in the pan. Place a single layer of cherries and then put rest of batter on top.
Bake for 50 minutes at 350°. Cake will be dry and crusty on top and toothpick will come out clean when done. Mini-cheesecake version needs to be checked sooner for doneness. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. If using springform pan, remove side and let cake stand on bottom of pan until cool. If using mini-cheesecake pan, let cool completely in pan. Serve torte right side up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar once completely cooled and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.