Prep 55 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
From Jim Graham, Le Francais.
- 10 ounces dried cherries or 10 ounces tart cherries
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 1⁄3 cup cognac, plus
- 1⁄2 cup cognac
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄3 cup chopped toasted almond
- 3 1⁄2 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate or 3 1⁄2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream, plus
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 5 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate or 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate or 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, shaved into shreds with vegetable peeler
- premium-quality vanilla ice cream
- For cherries: Combine cherries, water, 1/3 cup Cognac and sugar in small saucepan; bring to boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low and cook until most liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes; cool; add ½ cup Cognac; cover; chill overnight.
- For cake: Preheat oven to 300F; position rack in centre of oven; butter bottom and sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan; line sides with parchment paper strip; sprinkle bottom with almonds; melt chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth; remove from over water; cool slightly.
- Beat butter and ¼ cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy; add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; fold in melted chocolate, then cocoa; with clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form; add ¼ cup sugar, beat until stiff but not dry; fold whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions, folding until just combined; pour batter into pan; bake until tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes; cool on rack (cake will fall to a height of about 2 inches); cut around sides of pan to loosen cake; release pan sides; remove parchment; reattach sides of pan.
- For custard: Preheat oven to 300F; bring cream to boil in small saucepan; remove from heat; add 5 oz chocolate; stir until smooth; whisk in milk, yolk and vanilla; drain cherries well, reserving liquid; press enough cherries onto top of cake to cover completely; wrap outside of pan with foil; pour custard over cake, covering completely and allowing some custard to fill space between sides of pan and cake; press down on cherries to submerge; using tip of knife, pierce any bubbles on surface; bake until custard is barely set, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer cake to rack; cool completely; cut around sides of pan to loosen cake; if custard is not completely set, refrigerate cake 15 minutes; release pan sides; press chocolate shavings onto sides of cake; (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and chill).
- Serve cake with ice cream; drizzle ice cream with reserved cherry liquid.
This is a great dessert...I don't understand how the recipe has escaped notice for so long! I was happily surprised at how long this took to put together. I thought it would be a bit time-consuming and difficult, but it really wasn't (it did dirty a lot of pans, though). I followed the recipe quite closely, the only exceptions being that I used a regular, non springform, 9 inch pan without any parchment paper and I used brandy instead of cognac. The pan really didn't prove to be a problem, and I was able to get each slice of cake out in one piece. Anyway, I am a big fan of this cake, and it will be the next dessert I make for company. Thanks for sharing this!