A few weeks ago I made an impulse purchase from amazon.com, a whimsical contraption called the Cherry Chomper that's pictured here. I bought it because it was cute and on clearance. Fortunately, it actually works. You stick a cherry in the Chomper's mouth, push down his head, and the pit gets pushed out and caught in the clear plastic receptacle underneath.
So with a cherry pitter now in hand, I was eager to make use of the sour cherries I picked over the weekend. I decided to try making a recipe from epicurious.com, Brown Butter Almond Torte with Sour Cherry Sauce. I love almonds and cherries together, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. Plus, I was intrigued to see how the brown butter flavor would come out.
The torte was pretty easy to put together. The most time-consuming part was making the brown butter. As it was my first time doing this, I was a little nervous about screwing it up and burning the butter. It took what seemed like a very long time for the butter to turn the right color, and I was slightly concerned about how many brown bits were at the bottom of the pan. I briefly considered straining the butter to remove the bits, but a close sniff didn't detect any burnt odor and I decided that I would just run with it. I was very surprised that the torte baked up with a completely level top, with absolutely no doming in the center. The top was a deep golden brown, and quite pretty with the sliced almonds.
The sauce was also very easy to make, although I was worried that it looked a little thin, even after adding the cornstarch. But once the sauce cooled and I tried it with the torte, I came to appreciate the very light-bodied, mildly sweet, translucent sauce. It was a terrific complement to the cake, which had a very tight and fine crumb. Also, the sauce addressed the problem of the torte being slightly dry, which I think might have been my fault by over-baking it for a minute or two.
Almond was the predominant cake flavor, and the burnt butter component wasn't very strong. I would definitely make this torte and sauce again. Also, I would make this sauce alone, because I think it would be fantastic with waffles, ice cream, brownies, or what else have you. I'm not sure if anything else in the Fruit Fest will be able to top this!
Recipe: Brown Butter Almond Torte with Sour Cherry Sauce from epicurious.com.