Often for special occasions we all tend to return to the tried and test recipes. Ones that have won us praise and request for the recipes. This recipe I first wrote for my Sunday newspaper column in 2005. I first saw created in Amsterdam at The Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, by an outrageously good (but crazy) pastry chef called Jacque. At the Krasnapolsky we use to serve it topped with an ultra thin layer of gold leaf (yes real gold). Now I’m not suggesting you push the boat out that far, but this dessert is still bound to get you some golden comments.
4 Tbsp brandy
350 grams Dark unsweetened chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
125 grams Best quality white chocolate
4 Tbsp liquid glucose
425 ml double cream
100 grams of crushed plain chocolate biscuits
100 grams of mixed cashews, almonds & walnuts
1 Tbsp clear honey
Cocoa powder for dusting
Sour Cherry Compote
1 punnet (250g) fresh cherries, stoned
Juice of 1 medium sized lemon
4 Tbsp Gin
1 Tbsp of Sour Cherry Jam
1 350g jar pitted Morello Cherries in Syrup
1 Tbsp custard powder or cornstarch
- Lightly brush vegetable oil on bottom & sides of a 9” flan tin (one with removable bottom). Now line the bottom with a circle of parchment.
- Sprinkle the crush plain chocolate biscuits on the base of the flan case, then dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Next melt the dark and white chocolate in separate bowls over hot water (turn the heat off as soon as the water begins to simmer. Once the chocolate is completely melted then remove from the heat. and add the glucose and brandy into the dark chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is smooth again.
- In a separate cold bowl whip the cream until it is slightly thickened. Gradually stir 3/4 of the cream into the dark chocolate mix, a little at a time.
- Stir the final 1/4 into the white chocolate, again it is important do this gradually, so the chocolate does not split.
- Once all the cream is all incorporated then spoon 1/3 of the dark mix onto the chocolate biscuit crumbs. Pour a half of the white chocolate on top. Taking a clean skewer and swirl around the white chocolate to give that marble effect.
- Pour the second 1/3 of the dark chocolate into the flan case and then repeat with the second half of the white chocolate and swirl again. Finally pour the last 1/3 of the dark chocolate and tap the side of the flan case.
- Put the torte away to cool down, in the mean time toss the honey into the Almonds,walnuts, cashews then roast the nuts until they are glazed by the honey, they allow them to cool.
- Carefully place the nut mix onto the torte then return to the fridge Allowing it 12 hours to set properly before serving.
Sour Cherry Compote
- Drain the jar of cherries and pour the liquid into a stainless steel saucepan.
- Add the Gin and cherry jam and heat on a medium heat.
- Squeeze the lemon into a small bowl and remove all the pips.
- Stir the custard powder into the lemon juice until smooth.
- Poach the fresh destoned cherries for 4 minutes in the cherry juice and turn down the heat.
- When the cherry compote is simmering whisk in the custard power mix and continue to stir.
- Check the flavour and try to remember we are creating a compote that is slightly sour to contrast the torte.
- Keep stirring as the Compote thickens, then stir back in the reserved cherries and turn off the heat.
Use a heavy sharp knife to cut the torte into portions, wipe off the knife between cuts, using a wet paper towel to achieve clean looking cuts.