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To prepare torte: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set pans aside. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups almonds, cocoa powder, flour and baking powder; set aside.
In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and almond extract; cover and blend or process until combined. Add nut mixture and grated chocolate. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth, scraping side of container occasionally. Divide batter between the prepared pans, spreading evenly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare cherry syrup: In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon; set aside. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat just until melted. Remove from the heat. Add cherries, sugar mixture and water. Return to the heat; cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and cool for 1 hour. Chill for 1 hour before assembling.
Just before serving, place one of the cake layers on a serving plate. Spread with whipped topping and half of the syrup. Top with the remaining cake layer and the remaining syrup. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup almonds. If desired, garnish with white chocolate curls.