Amaretto Torte with Sweet Cherry Compote
Amaretto, an almond flavoured liqueur, is known as the liqueur of love. Ladyfinger biscuits may be found in speciality section of a supermarket or at a speciality food shop. These dry sponge-like biscuits are rusk-shaped.
150ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp) Amaretto
50g (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) sugar
40ml (2 tbsp + 2 tsp) water
500g ( 2 cups ) mascarpone
15ml (1 tbsp) Amaretto
1/2 tsp almond extract or essence
2 egg whites
50g (1/4 cup less 1 tsp) castor sugar
24 ladyfinger biscuits (trimmed to fit loaf tin)
Sweet Cherry Compote
Brush sides and base of 30cm x 11cm loaf (alternatively a 24cm x 14cm ) tin with cold water and line with plastic wrap.
To make Amaretto syrup: Pour first measure Amaretto into a small pot and add sugar and water. Place over a low heat and stir till sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Into a bowl place mascarpone, second measure Amaretto and almond extract and whisk till creamy and smooth.
In a second bowl place egg whites and whisk till just fluffy. Add castor sugar and whisk till shiny and stiff. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into mascarpone and mix till entirely combined and mascarpone is light. Add remaining egg white mixture and fold in till just combined.
Dip one side of a ladyfinger biscuit lengthwise into Amaretto syrup and place dipped side upwards into base of prepared loaf tin. Place biscuits parallel to the short side of the tin. Repeat with more biscuits to cover entire base of tin.
Pour half of the mascarpone filling on top of biscuits and spread to cover evenly. Repeat with a second layer of dipped ladyfinger biscuits and then mascarpone filling.
Top with the final layer of dipped ladyfinger biscuits.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
To serve: Unwrap torte and unmould onto a serving platter by tipping upside down and removing plastic wrap. Pour some of the Sweet Cherry Compote over torte and serve. Accompany with remainder of compote.
Sweet Cherry Compote
250ml (1 cup) pinot noir
75ml (1/4 cup + 2 tsp) orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
100ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) black or red currant jelly (as in jelly preserves}
20g (2 tbsp) sugar
1 + 1/2 tsp potato or rice flour
1 tsp water
200g (30) cherries (fresh or frozen, and pitted)
4 tsp cherry brandy
Pour red wine, orange juice and jelly into a small non-reactive saucepan and set over a low heat.
Add sugar and stir over a low heat till sugar and jelly are dissolved.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes till reduced by one-third and syrupy.
Place potato or rice flour in a small bowl. Add water and stir till a thick paste is obtained. Add to sauce and stir for 5 minutes or till thickened.
Add cherries and cherry brandy and simmer for a further five minutes.
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Serve warm or cold.
Photo Credit: Murray Lloyd