Montmorency Cake

Montmorency Cake Category Baked Goods 
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Ingredients And Procedures

14 oz Semisweet chocolate; broken

-into bits (or use chips) 2 tb Instant coffee granules; opt

1/2 c Kirsch

4 Eggs; separated

12 tb Unsalted butter; room temp

1/3 c All-purpose flour

1 pn Salt

2/3 c Granulated sugar

1 lb Fresh cherries or one 1-lb

-can pitted sour cherries -packed in water, drained Fresh cherries for garnish Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a piece of buttered waxed paper or baking parchment, then spread the sides evenly with butter. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over low heat, melt 8 ounces of the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of the coffee granules and 1/4 cup kirsch, stirring until smooth. Off heat stir in the egg yolks, one at a time, then return the pan to the heat and stir the mixture briefly until the yolks are warmed and have thickened the chocolate slightly. Off heat again, beat in the butter by tablespoons, stirring until smooth. Stir in the flour. Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle on 1/3 cup of the sugar and continue beating until the whites form fairly stiff and shiny peaks. Fold the warm chocolate mixture delicately into the meringue and turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375'F for 20-25 minutes, until the cake has puffed and a knife inserted in the center comes out with only a slightly creamy layer. Do not overcook. Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 45 minutes before unmolding. As it cools, the cake will sink and the surface will crack slightly. You can prepare the cherries while the cake is baking and cooling. Pit the fruit and set in a saucepan with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons kirsch. Cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes or so; the cherries should reduce to a thick compote. When done, allow to cool, then chop roughly and set aside. (If you are using canned cherries, prepare them as above, but cook them for only 20-25 minutes.) Invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the paper. Using a large spoon, trace about a 5-inch circle in the center of the cake; then scoop out the top part of the circle, leaving at least 1/2 inch of cake at the bottom. Add the scooped-out cake to the cherries and stir together well. Return the chocolate-cherry mixture back into the cake, smoothing it nicely with a flexible metal spatula. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt remaining chocolate with 1 tablespoon coffee granules, 3 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons kirsch, stirring occasionally until smooth. Allow to cool slightly, then spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Use a towel dipped in hot water to remove any smudges from the platter and set the cake in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before serving. The chocolate glaze will lose a bit of its shine when chilled, but the cake is really better served slightly below room temperature. Serve the cake garnished, if you wish, with more whole cherries. Variation: For the cherries in the recipe substitute a puree of fresh figs; or chopped dried pitted prunes or dried apricots, plumped in water and a little kirsch and flavored with orange marmalade. Source: "New Menus From Simca's Cuisine" by Simone Beck (1979) (as reprinted in Malla Pollack, Note, Intellectual Property Protection for the Creative Chef, or How to Copyright A Cake: A Modest Proposal, 12 Cardozo L. Rev. 1477, 1523, n. 130 (1991)). -----

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