It had been coming on for a long time. Lurking in the darkness. Slinking along at a slow pace inside closed books. A desire. No, that’s not what it was. It was a need. I needed dark chocolate in a serious manner.
I studied my cookbooks, looking for that perfect recipe to fulfill this need. Venturing into an area I hadn’t explored. The baking area.
It needed to be bittersweet. It needed an intensity. And it needed to be easy.
Enter The Mediterranean Kitchen. Joyce would have the answer.
Pan de Jerez is also known as a Chocolate Sherry Torte. When you have bittersweet chocolate melting with sweet cream butter and a dry amontillado sherry..your kitchen smells so good. A splash of Amaretto (you know how almonds and sherry and chocolate have loved each other forever) and happiness abounds in the kitchen.
This is better the second day, if it lasts that long.
Pan de Jerez : A Chocolate Sherry Torte
Adapted from The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein
6-½ ounces bittersweet chocolate
11 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup dry amontillado sherry
2 tbsp amaretto liquor
5 large eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sifted cake flour
Put chocolates, butter, sherry and amaretto in the top of a double boiler. Heat over simmering water stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9x5x3 loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until it forms a slowly dissolving ribbon on the batter when the beater is lifted. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Continue to beat to medium soft peaks. Stir the cooled chocolate mixture, the vanilla, and salt into the egg yolks. Sift the flour over the batter and add the egg whites and fold just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Butter another piece of parchment paper on both sides and place on top of the batter.
Wrap tightly in foil and place in a larger banking pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come 3 inches up the side of the loaf pan. Cover all tightly with foil. Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 45-50 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove the loaf pan from the water bath and let the cake cool in the pan. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the cake out onto serving platter. Cut into 1 inch sliced and serve with whipped cream.