I love cherries. With cherry season being so short every year, I buy cherries like crazy once they come in season and I eat a ton of them. For the most part, I don't like to part with my cherries. So the idea baking with them usually doesn't appeal to me. Plus I don't like the taste of baked cherries as much as I like them raw.
This past weekend I bought a bag of cherries I didn't particularly like. They were sweet, but they were soft. I like my cherries to be firm. So I decided to bake with them. I saw these really cute cherry almond cakes on the cookie shop. I particularly like how each little cake has a whole cherry with the stem sticking out.
I don't have a mini muffin pan, so my cherry almond cakes were a bit bigger and not as cute. Also, my cherries didn't stick out. The recipe said to cover the cherries with batter, but I think it would have looked cuter if they peeked out more.
I loved how these little cakes tasted. There is a subtle almond taste (it uses almond flour but no almond extract). They are sweet and light, and the cherry in the middle adds a wonderful surprise. I think this would work better as minicakes though because it ended up being a lot of batter before getting to the cherry in the middle.
I'm definitely going to make these again. This is one recipe I'm willing to sacrifice some of my cherries for. Boyfriend didn't like that there was a pit in the middle. Perhaps I'll try making them with cherry pieces next time.
Cherry and Almond Cakes (recipe found on the cookie shop)
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
- 1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 4 teaspoons kirsch
- 30 sweet (Bing)cherries
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees/ 180°C. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.
(I used regular muffin tins and it made about 12) Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins
to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally,
until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove
skillet from heat.
2. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add
egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in kirsch. Pour in
butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to
combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.
3. Pour 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about
halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. With a small spoon, smooth batter over cherries to cover. (I think next time I won't smooth the batter on top so that the cherries pop out more.) Bake until a
toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
(Mine were already turning dark brown around the edges at 15 minutes for the regular muffin sized ones. Therefore, for mini ones, I would reduce to 8-10 minutes.) Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold.
Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature