Food for Architects

Old Fashioned Cherry Cake

It’s not quite cherry season yet but candied cherries are always in available. They are perfect for a little pick me up in this delightfully old fashioned cherry cake. The classic cocktail revival has brought candied cherries back. Shockingly red, yielding with a ooze of syrup, candied cherries will bring a smile to your face and a bit of nostalgia to your table. Use a good supply to make this cake, a cake baked from scratch no less! I love baking and cooking because you start with a few odds and ends and transform them into delightful edibles (most of the time). The end product becomes more than the sum of its parts, and is sharable with friends and family.

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I’ve been making this cherry cake for years now and it is always a big hit for potlucks, afternoon tea, or dessert. I remember growing up that my mom would occasionally reminisce about it and found a recipe clipped out of a newspaper. I think at one point you could buy them ready made in a now extinct department store. I’ve changed a few things here and there and I think that I’ve improved upon the original recipe. The of this cake is lighter than a pound cake but still substantial enough to travel well.

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One thing to note is that I would consider this recipe to be for intermediate bakers because it does take a bit of time and some skills to prepare. If you have never baked a cake from scratch then start with banana bread as it is fast and easy to prepare. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half to make the batter and two hours to bake (depending on your oven) and some time to let the cake cool. And I always seem to use a lot of mixing bowls. So set aside a whole afternoon to this cake, and don’t think that you can rush things along or do other activities at the same time. Just enjoy some time baking a cake, a good classic cake.

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Old Fashioned Cherry Cake

Makes 2 loves
5 egg whites
1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
4 egg yolks
1 cup butter
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1⁄2 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 3⁄4 cups flour
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp almond extract (optional)
3⁄4 cup milk
2 cups candied cherries

Preheat the oven to 300F. Butter and flour 2 (9″x 5″) loaf pans. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a large bowl until soft peaks form then slowly beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Keep beating until all the sugar has dissolved and stiff and glossy peaks form. You can do this with a handheld mixer or a stand mixer or by hand with a lot of muscle.

In a medium bowl sift or whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.

In a small bowl, mix the cherries with 2 tbsps of the flour mixture.

In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat in the almond extract if you are using it. Beat in the flour and milk, alternating, in three additions, ending with the flour.

Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter until there are almost no white traces, then fold in the cherries. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the cake pulls away from the sides of the tin and a cake tester comes clean. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife and remove the cakes to cool on a rack. This cake will keep well at room temperature for about a week. You might be able to freeze them well wrapped for 3 months but I’ve never tried it.


This entry was published on June 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm. It’s filed under Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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