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Cherry “Cheesecake” Torte

July 6, 2014

cherry torte

What can I say? I seem to be on a bit of a “cheesecake” bent at the moment!

It’s funny how random memories can pop into your head without warning. I used to have a friend who described his brain as a collage of hundred different images at once; no one single thought predominant at a time. I thought this was a good description as it is often how my brain works. It’s rarely still and quiet – something I should work on!

Take for example: I was thinking about a glass-fusing workshop I held in Tambo, a remote Queensland town, a few years ago where I met the most wonderful group of women. In their isolation they had formed a very impressive art group with the most amazing resources and creative interest. Being women of the land, they were used to hard physical work, drought and floods whilst juggling the demands of raising a family in a somewhat far-flung place.

Being born and bred a city-slicker, I was naive about the inaccessibility of basic things that I take for granted, like regular post and fresh vegetables. Special items, like rice flour or goats milk had to be ordered in. I was in awe of the ingenuity of their kitchen prowess where “no name” vanilla cake packet mix could become a star!

So my thought process was thus:

Outback Qld > Ladies > Morning Tea > Cooking > Sour Cream Slice > Paleo? > Buttercake > Cheesecake > cherries. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!

cherry tort2

One of the ladies brought morning tea which was based on a packet vanilla cake mix ARGGH!!, a tub of sour cream and an apple. The result was something domestic and comforting and believe it or not, was the inspiration for this (healthier) gluten-free, dairy free cake.

**The sauce is entirely optional – I just didn’t want to waste the juice from the cherries – it can dress the cake up a little bit if serving for dessert. I did try a chocolate option but it reminded me too much of a cream cheese brownie slice and I was after more of a “cake”. If you would like to make a chocolate version, substitute 20g of the tapioca flour with cacao and omit the orange rind.

“Cheese” Topping
130g blanched almonds or almond meal
Juice of a small lemon
big pinch salt
120g warm water
40g macadamia oil
50g coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
1 extra large egg
vanilla to taste
Mill the 60g sugar* and the orange rind (for the cake*) on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Set aside until ready to make the cake.
For the topping: If using almonds, mill on SP 8 for 8 seconds, otherwise add the meal, lemon juice, salt, water & oil to the TM and mix on SP 6 for 1 minute. Scrape down halfway if required. 
Add the sugar, egg & vanilla and  mix on SP 6 for 1 minute. Set aside. It should be smooth & thick and will thicken a bit on standing. Without washing the bowl, start the cake mix.
Butter Cake
4 eggs
rind of 1 orange
60g maple or rice syrup
60g coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
stevia to taste (optional)
90g butter (or ghee or macadamia oil)
50g orange juice or nut milk
40g coconut flour
60g tapioca flour
1 1/2 teas baking powder
150g pitted sour cherries, drained, reserve the juice & patted dry
Add all of the wet ingredients (except the cherries) to the TM and blend on SP 6 for 15 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and continue to mix for another 10 seconds. Spread into a 22 cm tin – it will be quite thin and bake for 30 minutes. It will only be partially cooked.
Check the cherries have no errant pips and carefully sprinkle on the surface of the cake. Dollop the “cheese” on top and gently spread over before returning to the oven to continue baking for another 25 minutes. A skewer will come out moist – don’t worry.

300g reserved cherry juice
30g kirsch (optional)
1 tab tapioca (I prefer cornflour, but it’s not Paleo legal)
While it is cooling, make the sauce. Add the ingredients to the TM and cook on SP 3 for 8 minutes on 100°C. Serve hot or cold. 
Serve the cake warm with the sauce for dessert or cool the cake and serve cold for afternoon tea….. perhaps with some whipped cream!
This is the chocolate version!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Gina Hughes permalink
    July 6, 2014 10:17 am

    I absolutely continue to be inspired by your postings … you really are a “clever” cook! Thank you for all that you do! xo Gina


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