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Cherry Cassata Torte

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 Greetings Tasters, Where did that July go?  Mine was partially devoted to a ten year old's birthday party (post forthcoming) and well, Julying. 

We have great neighbors here at Hubcap Heaven aka Poppycake Lane, and tonight, we thought to invite two of them for a little dinner. We decided to have our usual favorite cookout fare of buffalo burgers and I decided to make my Greek potato salad as a side dish. It is olive oil and red wine vinegar-based and for fun, I used the three potato mix at yes, Trader Joes, as well as some Greek oregano from our garden, about a quarter of a large onion and a few cubes of feta cheese. My guests really enjoyed it and I enjoyed revisiting one of my old and half-forgotten staples. For dessert, I wanted to capitalize on one of those pinterest recipe vows I make to myself and actually try something new and in its full-fat richness. This cherry cassata torte recipe was a great place to start and a good excuse to buy some kirsch for my next try at the recipe with some variations. 

The main change that I made was in the topping. I used really good midnight Ghiradelli's chocolate and excellent dried bing cherries (no added sugar or sweetening) for the filling, so I felt that the topping would be rich overkill. Frankly, pound cake infused with kirsch, a filling of cream cheese and ricotta blended with amazing chocolate, toasted almonds and dried cherries gave so much flavor that I wondered if a big cloud of chocolate and whipped cream would simply take over. Instead, taking off from the suggestion for substituting kirsch for preserves and vanilla, I opted to get some of Trader Joe's outstanding cherry preserves and heat them up with some pure vanilla. That combination spread over the top of the torte gave just the spotlight to the existing flavors without gooping everything up. The final result was a keeper and a half!