Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cherry Almond Cake

I bought a small cherry-almond cake at Gerhard’s the other day because I had a taste for cherries and they have not quite come into season. Mary told me that they used Michigan cherries in this cake. It was so delicious and it was great to have a sneak peek of the cherry season.

I found this recipe that come pretty close to the alluring taste of Gerhard’s cake. It is however far more complicated than what most people want to take on but this high-quality dessert is not a task for a pastry light weight. I had to ask a few questions before I got through it.

Bon Appetit!


1 cup whole blanched almonds

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 lb. fresh sweet cherries, pitted

1 - 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. granulated sugar

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Serve with:

Whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan and line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Flour ONLY the SIDES of pan. Set aside.

2. In a food processor, coarsely chop almonds. Transfer 1/4 cup almonds to a bowl and reserve. Add flour, baking powder and salt to food processor. Process until remaining almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl.

3. In a food processor or in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter with 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, blending each one fully. Add almond and vanilla extracts.
4. Add half of flour mixture and pulse to blend (or if using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed to blend). Add remaining flour mixture. Pulse in food processor or beat with electric mixer until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place cherries (cherries can be tossed with 1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour so they will stay on top of the batter and not sink to bottom of cake) on top in a single layer.
5. Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
6. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove sides of spring form pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cooled, transfer to a cake plate. Dust top of cake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and if desired serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.