November 8, 2009

Chocolate Chestnut And Cherry Cake

* 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup sweetened chestnut puree
* 5 eggs, separated
* 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
* 1/4 cup sugar
* Whipped cream, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and set aside. Place the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, over barely simmering water. Heat, stirring from time to time, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream and the chestnut puree.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk until yolks have thickened and turned a pale yellow color. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the yolks and whisk until smooth. Stir in the dried cherries.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the cake just springs back when touched in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Place on a rack to cool completely. Cut into wedges and serve with softly whipped cream.

8 - 10 servings

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