Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cherry Almond Ice Cream Torte

My almond and cherry mood continues with this extremely time consuming recipe. Trust me this one is worth it. I brought it to a friend's dinner party for six people and five guests had seconds. I am guilty of this overindulgence. Please don't tell my doctor, she would renounce her Hippocratic oath and attempt to kill me because I am on a special diet to lower my cholesterol.

This recipe is derived from my own ice cream recipe, the ice cream torte from Dorrie Greenspan's "Baking," and Very Cherry Sauce from "A Passion for Ice Cream" by Emily Luchetti. So as you can imagine there are a few parts to this. None of them are complicated or difficult to perform, but it takes a lot of time to freeze. Each layer must set before the next one is added. This means at least 30 minutes for each chocolate ganache layer and another 20 (or so) minutes for each ice cream layer. My total freeze time took about 4 hours this does not include the time to make the ice cream mix or the cherries.

The cherries are amazing. You will use them all, but will have left over syrup which should keep for a few weeks. Use this syrup as a drink flavoring, or a dessert sauce.

The ganache has eggs in it. These eggs don't really cook. If you are worried about eating undercooked eggs, than please try to find pasteurized ones.

The recipe below is a good example of the necessary progression you need. I will do my best to show you simultaneous steps.

For the Candied Cherries:

2 pounds of fresh sweet cherries
2.5 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of water
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp kosher salt

  1. Stem the cherries, but don't pit them.

  2. Put cherries, sugar, and water into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

  3. When the water turns clear, all the sugar has been absorbed. Set a timer for 5 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer the cherries.

  4. Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Spread the cherries out on some foil in a single layer to cool

  5. Put the liquid back into the saucepan with the lemon juice and salt and reduce to 2 cups. It will be very dark and syrupy. Cool the liquid to room temperature. Use an ice bath if you want, but note it will make clean up harder.

  6. When the cherries have cooled, pit them by squeezing out the pits. Then place them in the completely cooled syrup and refrigerate.

For the Cherry Ice Cream:

3/4 of the Candied Cherries
1/4 cup of of the Cherry Syrup
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream

  1. Place the cherries and the syrup in the blender and puree. When you do this, the cherries will retain a lot of the syrup. Don't count that extra syrup as part of the 1/4 cup of required syrup.

  2. Put the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat over medium heat to about 150F, where the milk/cream is hot but not boiling.

  3. While the milk and cream heats, put the yolks in a bowl with the sugar and beat until the sugar is fully incorporated.

  4. When the milk is at temperature, take about 1/3 cup out and temper the eggs. Add the eggs to the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until the temperature is 175F.

  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Incorporate the cherry puree, being sure to mix thoroughly. Strain the custard then cool to room temperature. if you are not going to use an ice bath and stir the mixture during cooling, be sure to cover the custard with plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid forming a skin on the surface. Refrigerate overnight or at least a few hours until cold.


For the Ganache:

9 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate
1 3/4 sticks of butter
1/2 cup sugar
8 eggs

  1. To facilitate easier melting cut the butter into chunks and the chocolate into small pieces. Put the pieces in a double boiler and completely melt, stirring occasionally to ensure the ingredients become incorporated. Set the mixture aside to cool for five minutes. PLEASE NOTE: Dorrie Greenspan warns that overheating will cause the chocolate and butter to separate and not be able to reincorporate. So please be careful.

  2. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture one at a time, ensuring each one is fully incorporated before adding the next one. This mixture will get thick.

  3. Lightly grease an 8 or 8.5 inch springform pan. I used cooking spray. You could use butter, but I wouldn't recommend it. If you use too much, the butter will freeze and attach itself to the torte. No one really likes to eat frozen butter.

  4. Pour one third of the ganache (about 1 1/3 cups) into the bottom of the spring form. Bang the pan on your work surface to remove any bubbles. You may need to use a toothpick to pop some them. Set the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the remaining ganache to avoid creating a skin.

Final Assembly:

2 cups slivered or sliced almonds

  1. As the ganache is setting, freeze half of the ice cream according to your ice cream machine's directions.

  2. Toast the nuts and cool them to room temperature. Chop them into small bits.

  3. At this point, wait for the ice cream to finish freezing if the 30 minutes for the ganache has expired. If the ice cream finishes before the 30 minutes for the ganache, put it in the freezer. The ice cream should be the consistency of soft serve so it is easy to spread. If it is too frozen, leave it out to loosen up.

  4. Remove the ganache from the freezer, put down a layer of the nuts. Add the ice cream, smoothing it so the top is as flat as possible. Place this back into the freezer for at least 20 minutes until the ice cream is set.

  5. Remove the pan from the freezer, pour half of the remaining ganache (1 1/3 cups) over the ice cream. Bang on the table again to remove air bubbles. Again you may need a toothpick, but you have to work fast so the ice cream doesn't melt. Put this back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes until set. Put the plastic back over the remaining ganache.

  6. Freeze the remaining custard. Again minding the texture.

  7. While the ice cream is freezing, remove the remaining cherries from the syrup and chop them.

  8. Remove the ganache from the freezer once it has set and the ice cream is at the right texture. Spoon the cherries over the ganache. Include some of the syrup Put the ice cream on top of the cherries. Smooth the surface of the ice cream. Put this into the freezer for at least 20 minutes until it sets.

  9. Feel free to start cleaning up you have a few minutes to spare. If you want, toast some more nuts to put on the top as decoration.

  10. Once the ice cream is set, remove the pan from the freezer, pour over the remaining ganache. Bang out the bubbles then place the pan back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.

  11. At serving time, unmold the torte, slice and serve. I had no problems removing the pan sides because my friend's freezer was a bit too warm. If you have problems, Dorrie Greenspan suggests using either a warm towel or a brief application of a hair dryer to the sides of the mold.


Mike H said...

Greatly looking forward to making this now that it's cherry season. Query, the title says Cherry Almond, but I did not see any almonds in the recipe.


Ice Cream Fellow said...

Good catch Mike! I have corrected it now to include the nuts.