In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Cherry and Almond Burnt-Butter Torte – Recipe

Burnt Butter, Cherry and Almond Tart

This delicious torte is actually pretty easy to make, and works well with frozen or preserved cherries, but is perhaps best in the middle of cherry season. The fresh local juicy cherries that I buy from the Farmers’ Markets were my inspiration to try this recipe. That and I almost always have all the ingredients I need in my pantry, so it’s easy to whip up, and a good way to use up left over egg whites.

I was handed some egg whites by my neighbour the other day – 2 hours later I handed back one of these. 

What I really like about this recipe is that it uses many of the same ingredients as macarons, so when I’ve had a frustrating day baking them badly, I whip this up to build my self confidence again.

Sour cherries like Morellos are particularly good in this torte, which fills the house with beautiful smells of vanilla and butter – I wish someone would make a candle that smells like it.

This recipe originally comes from Karen Martini and was published in the Saturday Age recipe.  I’ve made a few minor changses to suit me better.


180 g salted butter

1 vanilla bean

5 egg whites

pinch salt

340 g pure icing sugar, sifted (extra for dusting)

110g plain flour

100g ground almonds

7.5 ml (1.5 teaspoons) almond essence (bitter almond is very good!)

40g flaked almonds

300g cherries, pitted and halved

Preheat oven to 180°C  (or 160°C fan-forced). Grease a 24cm x 5cm fluted tart tin with a loose base (or line with silicon paper).

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the beans out and place in a small saucepan.  Chop the vanilla pod into small pieces and also add to the small saucepan. Melt butter in the saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 4 -5 mins until the mixture turns dark and smells nutty. Be brave. It’s the nuttieness that makes this torte.

Strain the butter into a bowl, discard the solids, and cool to room temperature.

Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.  Add half icing sugar and combine, then fold in the remaining sugar, flour and ground almonds.  Be gentle, but not wimpy (and don’t bother looking for le macaronnage thankfully that’s not necessary for this recipe).

Stir through the burnt vanilla butter and almond essence. Pour mixture into the tin and place cherries on top, scatter with almond flakes, reserve a few cherries for garnish if you wish.  The recipe makes a bit too much to be contained by my tart tin – you can fill to about 2mm from top, so I pop the extra into cupcake tins (makes 2 – 3) with sliced cherries and bake these for 20 mins. Make sure you fill the empty cupcake depressions with water to stop the cakes over cooking.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the tart is puffed and just set. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Dust with icing sugar and garnish with a few cherries.

Cherry Almond Torte


3 thoughts on “Cherry and Almond Burnt-Butter Torte – Recipe

  • PS
    I am thinking of further topping experiments too:
    Fresh figs sliced onto a topping of cheese curds
    Black currants and mascarpone
    Rhubarb and mascarpone
    Candied chilli and bottle mandarin segments.
    And of course lemon or lime curd.

    Comment from: Shelley

  • A friend introduced me to this recipe maybe two years ago, and since then it has been my go to dessert /gift cake recipe.
    I have made it with about 1/3 less sugar though, since I actually double my fruit quantity.
    So far it has always been eaten in nano seconds after it appears on the table. Once I made two, those lasted microseconds.
    Also I have ventured into other fruits: mango, dark red satsuma plums, apple, strawberry, lychee and preserved ginger, cherries of course, raspberries, and today I am mixing it up with cherries and blackberries.
    Sometimes these fruits have been fresh, other times frozen or bottled. The torte is always reliably moist and delicious.
    The only variation needed otherwise is the cooking duration. The wetter the fruit, the longer the cook. Sometimes by 5 minutes, at other time maybe by 20.
    So the point of this note is actually to thank you. Very, very much.
    This recipe always makes people think I am an amazing baker. That chef’s hat actually belongs to you.

    Comment from: Shelley

  • Love it!!!!!

    Comment from: Donna

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