We like chocolate cake and we also like brownies because of the denser consistency. But, if we wanted to have a gluten-free chocolate dessert, neither one of Sheila’s go-to recipes would quite work. Sheila played around with some ingredients for the flavor she wanted, and then we both taste-tested the results.
After we poured the cherry juice over the cherries on top of the chilled torte, the dessert was a lot like a mousse in texture. We ate it with and without the juice, with and without the foam, with and without the ice cream. We taste-tested our way through the entire dessert while the photos were taken. My tummy liked it all.
12 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into sections
1/2 cup whipped butter
6 egg yolks
2 cups brown sugar
3 Tablespoons brewed dark roast coffee
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 egg whites
3/4 cup fine almond flour
4 cups frozen cherries, pitted
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 325.
Lightly grease sides and bottom of a springform cake pan with butter or margarine and dust with cocoa powder.
Place 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate and whipped butter in the top of a double boiler, melt, and whisk together by hand until thoroughly mixed together. Remove from heat.
Using large bowl, an electric mixer, and whisk attachment, whip egg yolks, 1 cup of the sugar, coffee, 1.5 teaspoons of the almond extract, and sea salt until thick and creamy.
Add chocolate/butter mixture and continue to mix until blended.
In a separate bowl and with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until fluffy, about a minute. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes or until peaks form. (Should be stiff enough that a spoonful of the mixture will stay in the spoon when held upside down)
Fold the almond flour into the egg whites, then carefully fold that mixture into the entire chocolate mix.
Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan. There may be lots of bubbles in the mixture. If so, gently, but firmly bounce the pan on the counter once or twice to break up most of them.
Place the pan on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven and bake until the center puffs and cake edges pull away from the pan, about 40-45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, place on cooling rack for 40 minutes. As it cools, the center of the torte will collapse a little, creating a depression in which to put the cherries later.
Place the pan on a flat cake plate/stand and remove the sides.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Place cherries, water, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a sauce pan and heat on medium heat until sugar melts – about two minutes. Stir.
Place cherries and the resulting juice in a covered container in the refrigerator to soak and chill for two hours.
When chilled, strain the cherries and save the juice.
Spread the cherries evenly in the depression on the top of the torte.
Lovely with ice cream and the cherry juice poured on top.
If you’d like to make the foam shown in the photo below, use the electric mixer and the whisk attachment. Whisk the well-chilled cherry juice until foamy, about two minutes. This only works while the juice is cold, so work quickly. Skim off the foam, about two tablespoons for each slice, and use as a light flavorful topping to the dessert. Or just pour the juice on top of the cherries. The flavor will be the same.
Sheila tried out a new muffin recipe. I thought she was making cupcakes for dessert because of the mouth-watering chocolate smell in the air, but she said that these were going to be for breakfast instead. There’s less sugar than a cupcake, and they have fruit in them, so that qualifies as a breakfast treat. Works either way for me!
Sheila tried out a new muffin recipe. And the muffins have PUMPKIN in them. Big smiles here. She said that these were for breakfast, but since I was hanging around for taste-testing duty, I had the first one for an afternoon snack. She made some with chocolate chips and without, and both types were great. Chocolate and pumpkin, though? Perfect together!
In case you were wondering? No bodies anywhere in the kitchen or dining room. I checked before I left. 😉