"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul."
-~ The Koran
BLACK FOREST CHEESECAKE
~ 1985 favorite retro-dessert (Bon Appetit), perfect for February (National Cherry Month)
1 lb. (thawed) frozen unsweetened cherries
1/4 cup kirsh
1/4 cup Morello cherry syrup (or sour cherry syrup)
8 12 oz. chocolate wafer cookies
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) well-chilled butter, cut into 12-in. pieces
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
12 oz. coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
16 oz. (room temperature) cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 (room temperature) eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. kirsch
For topping: Soak undrained cherries and kirsch in small bowl 6 hours.Thoroughly drain cherries in strainer set over medium bow, shaking occasionally, at least 2 hours. Reserve liquid. Add enough Morello cherry syrup to cherry liquid to measure 1 cup. Pour 6 Tbsp. into heavy skillet (reserve remaining liquid for filling). Halve cherries and add to skillet. Boil until syrup is thickened and mixture resembles preserves, about 6 minutes. (Can prepare 2 days ahead and chill).
For crust: Generously butter 9-in. springform pan. Finely crush cookies (on/off turns) in processor. Cut in butter (on/off turns) until mixture begins to gather together. Press crumbs into bottom of pan and up sides to 3/4 in. from top (should be no cracks). Refrigerate crust for at least 30 minutes.
For filling: Preheat oven to 325º. Heat 1 1/2 cups cream with chocolate in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Cool 10 minutes. Beat cream with 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at at time until combined. Beat in chocolate mixture, then remaining 10 tablespoons cherry liquid and vanilla. Pour into crust. Bake until outer 2 inches of cake are firm but center still moves slightly, about 1 1/4 hours (top may crack). Cool completely on rack. Top pan with paper towels and cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate 1-2 days.
Remove foil, discard paper towel and pan sides of cake. Spread cherry topping over cake. Beat remaining 1 cup cream with 2 Tbsp. sugar and kirsh to peaks. Spoon onto center of cake. Top with chocolate curls. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead and refrigerated.). Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. (12-14 servings)
Cyclamen are a genus of plants containing 20 species, which are part of the family of Primulaceae, the Primrose family. In the wild, their distribution is centred on the mediterranean, being natives of parts of Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. They are tuberous plants and have no obvious affinity with Primroses, although they do resemble the North American Dodecatheon in having reflexed petals.
Their habitats range from Fagus (Beech) woodland, through scrub and rocky areas, to alpine meadows where they flower in snow meltwater.
The genus is notable for the fact that although it is small, there are species which flower in every month of the year.
In cultivation, there are some species which are definitely hardy, some which are borderline, and a few species which will not tolerate any frost.
The genus also provides florists plants in the form of cultivars based on Cyclamen persicum. These are generally winter and spring flowering plants which are available in a wide range of colours.