cherry-fudge brownie torte

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Most people I know have some Thing that they are, corny and dramatic as it sounds, passionate about. For Dave it’s music. I have a friend who brews beer, another who gardens, one who is all about house renovation, one who could spend hours a day researching his next bottle of wine. I love this aspect of people.

But damn, to have your Thing be baking? When you’re small and only moderately active, it presents a challenge. I think I could more easily give up eating dessert if I wouldn’t also have to give up baking dessert. I love watching butter and sugar and flour turn into dough. I love watching the shapes the beater makes as it spins through batter, the soft peaks of heavy cream, the smooth shine of melted chocolate.

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I’m not overweight and I don’t think I’m even continually gaining weight – but my pants are a lot tighter than they were a year ago, and damn it, I like those pants. I like my clothes to be flattering, and I like being comfortable wearing a bathing suit.

But something has to give, other than the buttons on my jeans, that is. I’ve said this before. Nothing has given before.

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This cake is definitely not a good place to start. The base is almost flourless, largely chocolate and butter and eggs. Dried cherries are added to the cake batter after they’re plumped in water, then flambéed in kirsch. Remembering how much I liked the partially pureed, evenly dispersed prunes in the chocolate whiskey cake, I mashed up these cherries as well.

The chocolate brownie base is covered in a mixture of cream cheese, mascarpone, and cream. Yeah, Tuesdays with Dorie hasn’t made a dessert this rich is a while. It is a good one though. I love the bright tartness of the cherries in the chocolate cake, and light mousse is a nice contrast to the dense cake.

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So what to do in the face of this cake when I also want to feel good about myself? Well, eat healthier during the times when I’m not eating dessert, for one thing. For another, don’t bake anything extra, at least until Thanksgiving, when I’ll re-evaluate.

So, my goal, which I present to you: From now until Thanksgiving, so for a month, I won’t bake anything other than what’s required for my blog, 100% whole wheat bread, and a batch or two of biscotti for Dave to eat at work. I’m passionate about baking and it makes me happy, but having clothes that fit makes me happy too. I have to compromise. (Please don’t be confused if you see a slew of dessert recipes here over the next month. I have a huge backlog of recipes to post.)

If you’d like to try this cake, April has it posted on her blog. I accidentally melted all of the chocolate instead of saving a portion to mix in to the batter at the end.

One year ago: Dorie’s Chocolate Cupcakes

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  1. Beautiful Torte!

  2. Looks delicious!

  3. What if you have a midnight cookie craving? Or a just *need* a breakfast bundt? ::g::
    Good luck with your goal! Your torte looks awesome.

  4. I love the stripes of cocoa on your torte! Beautiful. Yours is the second blog I have read mentioning pants not fitting like they used to. 🙂

  5. My thing is baking also. Love the decoration on your brownie torte.

  6. I get more joy out of baking the desserts and presenting them to people than I do out of eating them myself! I’m lucky to have so many baking outlets. Good luck with your goal! I love the way you have stripes of cocoa on the torte. It looks beautiful!

  7. I’m in the same boat as you! (except I am not in the overweight range) It is so so hard to have this passion and not be able to just magically be skinny! your torte looks gorgeous though!

  8. I love to cook, like you love to bake.
    I just take a bite of the cake I made, then give the rest away……’s as fun to create it, as it is to eat it!

  9. I am exactly like you! I feel like baking is my outlet- I feel like it is very difficult to explain to people. Nobody ever questions people who quilt or garden but people are always asking me- “how do you find time to bake- you should sleep in your spare time?”. It keeps me sane though! I also am having the problem with the tight pants- having two babies in the last two years and being in TWD are not a good combo!! Oh well, I’ll just try to give a lot of my baked goods away! Your cake looks beautiful with the stripes on the top!

  10. I’m so with you. My thing is baking too and I bake a lot. I try to give away most of what I bake but somehow my pants are still tighter than they used to be. Good luck with your goals!

    The torte looks wonderful. I had to sit out this week but I am intrigued by at least the topping (I’m not a huge fan of cherries so the brownie part is less appealing).

  11. Mmmmmm this looks great! The stripes looks so adorable:) I’m with you about loving baking. It’s so hard to bake a bunch of goodies and not eat them. Luckily for you you are skinny…I’m already plump so it certainly doesn’t make it easier.

  12. My heart goes out to you, because I can hear the sadness and frustration in your “voice”. I can also see it in my own eyes. I sadly realize I have gained at least 10lbs since starting my blog a little over a year ago, and discovering I actually LOVE to bake. (When I began my blog, I knew I liked to cook, but baking is still new to me.) I am also not technically overweight but I know I am at the very highest to be healthy weight. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror and cannot stand pictures. That’s a huge deal because I used to LOVE being in pictures with my friends and BF. Now I hide. I just look like a puffy version of myself, and that makes me very sad. 🙁

    I wish you luck on your challenge! Stay strong! 🙂

  13. Sooooooo cute!

  14. I’m gonna miss the richer stuff, but you gotta do what you gotta do! I’m just glad you “went out” with a bang, and a beautiful one at that! (Love the pattern!)
    Besides, I still love looking at healthier recipes 🙂

  15. First of all, awesome stripes…second of all, I hear ya. I try to get most of my baking out of the house as quickly as possible but it’s not always easy to resist!

  16. it’s so pretty! love the stripes. i completely know what you are taking about re: too much baking (sounds like we all do!)… i think sometimes about giving up one of my group obligations, just so i can go on a dessert-less more days of the week.

  17. Oh, your brownie torte looks soo elegant with the cocoa dusting stripes! I know how you feel about something having to give. I follow Dorie’s Bake and Release philosophy so I don’t have any leftovers hanging around or my jeans would totally be busting out all over the place. =)

  18. I completley feel your pain at the cooking good food/having clothes that fit well battle. I LOVE to cook and eat, especially cheesy or choclotey foods. I make myself get out of bed every moring and run to make up for all this scrumptiousness. I am still rounder than I prefer, but at least I am full of yummy food and not starving myself!

    I love the looks of this torte, and can’t wait to make it! Looking at your blog makes my day : )

  19. bridget says:

    Just to…well, really just to whine some more I guess, I should clarify that Dave and I don’t know many people nearby that I can distribute treats to (the sad result of moving every couple of years). Also, while I still exercise regularly, I messed up my ankle a few months ago and can’t run for now. Waah!

  20. I love the way you decorated it. The stripes are fantastic.

  21. Wow that looks amazing, probably one of the prettiest ones I’ve seen!

  22. I feel your pain! Fortunately, I have two Things – baking and working out. On a good week, they balance each other out. 🙂

    Your torte looks amazing. I love the cocoa stripes.

  23. looks so pretty with the stripes!

  24. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I actually skipped out on this weeks TWD after realizing I had packed on quite a few pounds. Good luck in your efforts and I wish you nothing but success! And this is a stunning torte!

  25. Pretty! Love the lines. 🙂

  26. I love the way you decorated the cake, this is really beautiful!

  27. Thank you so much for baking with me this week! Your torte looks so good, the top is gorgeous. I hear you on the tighter pants, I’m almost positive everything in Baking has a least a stick of butter and two eggs.

  28. I’m the same way – I could almost give up eating dessert if it didn’t mean I also would have to give up baking it. Nothing better than flitting about the kitchen, covered in flour and sugar! Luckily, my other Thing is running, so I’m currently dodging that bullet 🙂