Black Forest Cherry Torte


1 can (15 ounces) pitted, tart cherries, drained
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cherry-flavored brandy, divided
3 baked 9-inch layers of chocolate cake
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 squares semisweet chocolate


Three to seven days ahead, drain the cherries and cut them in half, saving 12 whole ones for garnishing. Put cherry halves in a clean glass jar; cover completely with ½ cup of a domestic cherry brandy (or a Yugoslav maraschino or imported kirsch). Cap the jar and refrigerate for at least 3 days, preferably a full week.

When ready to assemble the cake, pour off the marinade and use it to soak the cake layers. Whip the cream, adding sugar and 2 tablespoons of cherry brandy.

Spread one cake layer with the whipped-cream mixture, and top with half the cherries. Repeat with second cake layer, and place third cake layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake with half the remaining whipped-cream mixture. Sprinkle grated semisweet chocolate onto the sides. On the top, drop spoonfuls of whipped cream, topping each mound with a whole, marinated cherry. Pile grated chocolate curls in the center.


Makes 12 servings.

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