- 1 can Oregon Fruit Red Tart Cherries packed in water
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (such as Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sifted flour
- Adjust oven rack one third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a nine inch spring form pan (or heart shaped baking pan). Drain all the liquid from the cherries and save for another use (see note). Spread the cherries in a single layer on several sheets of paper towels and let stand.
- Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water and moderate heat. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Grind the almonds in a food processor, blender or nut grinder to a fine powder.
- Cream the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and almond flavorings and then sugar; beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating after each addition until thoroughly mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate and beat until mixed; add the almonds and beat to mix, then the flour and beat, scraping the bowl only until incorporated.
- Place about half of the batter in the prepared pan and spread it to make a smooth layer. Place the cherries one at a time in a single layer all over the chocolate layer. Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture over the cherries and spread it smoothly.
- Bake for 50 minutes. The cake will be dry and crusty on top and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the spring form pan and keep on the rack until almost cool. Invert onto a rack and then invert again onto a serving plate so the cake is right side up. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbs powdered sugar
- 1 Tbs Kirsch (cherry brandy)
- In a well chilled small bowl with chilled beaters, whip all the ingredients only until the cream holds a soft shape. Serve each slice with a large spoonful!
Note: Drinking tart cherry juice has been found to be helpful for sports related inflammation as well as gout and arthritis. You can also substitute tart cherry juice for the water in the red velvet cupcakes for a little twist.