Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sour Cherry Layer Torte with Poppy Seed Cream

This gorgeous, unusual dessert recipe was all over the German magazines when I was there last spring. 

I knew I had to make it and share it with you. The recipe features two dough like layers topped with sour cherries and poppy seed laced sweet whipped cream.

Both poppy seeds and sour cherries are used frequently in German desserts and here they make a nice flavor combination.

Straight up, this recipe takes some time to make. You can make create the dough part the day before. Place the two layers and dough balls in a zip lock to retain their freshness until you are ready to use them.

Sweet cherries can be substituted for the sour version if they are hard to find in your area. 

Sour Cherry Layer Torte with Poppy Seed Cream
Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes 
Bake Time: 40 minutes 
Yield: 8 slices 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup corn starch 
  • Scant cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons cherry juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided 
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar 
  • 13 ounces pitted sour cherries
  • 1 + 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground poppy seeds, plus some for garnish 
  • 3 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 2 ounces sour cherry jelly
  • Place the cup of water, unsalted butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. 
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of the corn starch. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the combined flour and corn starch. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together until the dough becomes one clump. Let the dough cool for a few minutes. 
  • Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat the dough at medium speed adding the eggs one at a time, waiting until each is completely incorporated into the batter before adding the next. 
  • Divide the dough evenly into three parts. You may want to use a kitchen scale to be precise. The dough will be very sticky. 
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 10-inch springform pan in the middle. Use a marker to trace a circle around the pan onto the baking paper, sketching out a circle. flip the baking paper over. you should be able to see the circle though the paper. Take 1/3 of the dough and place it in the middles of the circle.Use the back of a wet wooden spoon to spread the mixture evenly. The layer will be very thin. If you can see through the dough, is a bit more. 
  • Bake the dough circle for 20 minutes until just golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Repeat this process with the second 1/3 of the dough, creating another circle. 
  • Load the remaining batter into a piping bag. And pipe a series of round dough balls onto the baking sheet. Wet your finger and use it to smooth out any peaks that form on the dough balls. 
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, 
  • In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the cherry juice with the remaining 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Set aside. 
  • In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, boil the remaining cherry juice with the three tablespoons of white granulated sugar and teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Add the cherry juice, cornstarch mix and blend thoroughly. Add the cherries and cook them for 5 minutes more. 
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool completely. 
  • Beat the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and remaining teaspoon of pure vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Fold the crushed poppy seeds into the cream. Dissolve three of the teaspoons of gelatin in warm water fold into the poppy cream, blending thoroughly. 
  • Place one of the dough circles on a serving plate. Spread half of the cooled sour cherry mixture on top. Add a layer of poppy seed cream. Place the second dough circle on top, add the rest of the cherry mixture and another layer of poppy seed cream on top. Scatter the dough balls on top of the poppy cream. 
  • For decoration, warm the sour cherry jam and dissolve the remaining teaspoon of gelatin in it. Load into a pastry bag fitted with a number 3 tip and decorate the top of the torte. You can create a cross hatch pattern or just squiggle the bag back and forth in one direction. 
  • Chill the torte in the refrigerator two hours before serving. Scatter poppy seeds over the top for garnish, if desired. 

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