What a difference an “e” can make! A “tort” is a wrongful act or an infringement of a right leading to civil legal liability. A “torte” is a scrumptious cake-like dessert that is usually less flour/cake, making it a denser/sweeter delight. Nothing wrongful or infringing about that unless you eat the whole torte yourself — and even that we can forgive if it is done with self-love and a desire to indulge!

That said, Chef Janice offers us two torte recipes for Valentine’s Day that use local honey as an integral ingredient. And, because we love bees, that makes it even better. Share one of these with your TLA and say “Bee mine” in the sweetest way possible!

Market District Valentine Torte

Compliments of Chef Janice Kirich

Serves: 16

Prep Time: 30 min.

Cook Time: 25 min. + chilling

  • ½ cup dried cherries, diced
  • ¼ cup Chambord liqueur
  • 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • ½ tsp. cayenne powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup coffee (leftover from morning)
  • ⅓ cup canola oil

  • filling:
  • ⅔ cup seedless blackberry preserves/jam
  • 1 Tbsp. Chambord liqueur

  • glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • garnish: (optional)
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • ½ cup blackberries

Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Combine dried cherries with Chambord; let stand 15 minutes. In mixer, combine cake mix, cayenne, eggs, coffee, oil and cherry mixture. Beat low 1 minute; then medium for 2 minutes.

Pour into two greased, floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake 27 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack until completely cooled.

While cakes are cooking, make filling. In a small saucepan, combine the preserves and Chambord, heat until melted into syrup; set aside.

For the glaze, combine the cream with the honey in another small pan. Bring to just a light boil, pour over chocolate in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Using a long serrated knife, cut each cooled cake horizontally in half. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Top with another layer of cake; spread with ⅓ of the glaze. Cover with 3rd layer and remaining filling. Top with remaining layer; spread top and sides of torte with remaining glaze. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Optional garnish: press toasted almonds into side of cake and top with whipped cream flowers and blackberries. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Honey Ricotta Torte

Compliments of Chef Janice Kirich

Serves: 12

Prep Time: 15 min.

Cook Time: 1 hr., 15 min.

  • 3 lbs. whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup local honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. bee pollen (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 400⁰F.

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla extract.

Butter and flour a 9x2-inch round baking pan. Spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with Bee Pollen, if desired. Place on a cookie sheet.

Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour and 15 min. Check at 1 hour with a toothpick inserted into the middle and it should come out clean.

Refrigerate for three hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.