Monday, July 14, 2008

Sour Cherry Chocolate Cake

This is a recipe I've been making for over 20 years.

It's a variation on a recipe from Judith Olney’s Joy of Chocolate cookbook. She calls it Lenzer Torte, but I prefer the more prosaic Sour Cherry Chocolate Cake. Make it with jarred sour cherries any time of the year and it’s really, really good and really simple to make to boot. Make it with fresh sour cherries in season and it is transformative!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” spring form pan and cover with 2 T of fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Pit 1-pound fresh sour cherries (or use a jar of pitted sour cherries which need to be drained and dried – leave on a towel and put aside.)

Melt 1 stick butter (1/2 cup) and set it aside to cool

Beat 2 Eggs and 1 Cup granulated sugar until thick and lemon colored. Stir in the melted butter, 3 T cocoa powder and 1-teaspoon kirsch. Mix well, then add 1-teaspoon baking powder, ½ Cup all-purpose flower and ½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (I use a mini food processor to chop the nuts). Stir to incorporate.

Place the sour cherries into the bottom of the breadcrumb covered spring form pan, pour the batter over them and spread out evenly so all are covered.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. The top of the cake should be completely firm and slightly cracked.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and release the spring form then leave the cake to sit and cool to room temperature.

When cool, flip the cake onto a serving plate and take a knife or spatula and carefully remove the bottom of the pan.

Sift a little bit (1/2 c) confectioners sugar over the top of the cake to garnish.
Serve with whipped cream - you can add a little sugar if you want or a teaspoon of kirsch or both!

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