Cherry Cake

IMG_2486It’s been a while since we’ve had cake, just for us in the house. By a while I mean like three weeks. Over Easter, hot cross buns were made and chocolate was consumed, but the desire for a nice cake was fulfilled this weekend. I gave Sweetapolitia’s Cherry Cake a try, with a few adaptations of my own, and created a cute pink 6″ maraschino cherry and almond cake that was moist and ‘practically perfect in every way’ (yes I may have been watching Mary Poppins too).

I also found a use for my little cupcake stand, which I always forget about when photographing actual cupcakes. So it was temporarily converted into a maraschino cherry stand for these photos. Also our roses are in bloom constantly, so why not take advantage of it?

3 steps:

Make this cake

Eat this cake

Repeat. Because you’ll want to.

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Cherry Cake: makes 3 six inch layers

Ingredients

  • 180g flour
  • 225g sugarIMG_2499
  • 13g baking powder
  • 85g cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 150ml milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large egg whites, room temperature (or 3 large ones)
  • pink food colouring
  • About 15 Maraschino cherries, halved or quartered

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6″ tins.
  2. In the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder on low speed.
  3. Add in the butter one piece at a time. Beat on low speed until all the butter has been incorporated, about 3 minutes. The mixture should have a fine crumbly texture.
  4. Combine half the milk, the cherry juice, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  5. In a separate measuring cup, gently whisk the egg whites and remaining milk.
  6. With stand mixer on low speed, gradually add the cherry juice mixture, followed by colour and beat until combined and smooth.
  7. Put the mixer back on low speed and add the egg white mixture in three parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat for 1 minute.
  8. Toss the cherry bits in a little flour and gently fold them into the batter by hand.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center is removed with few crumbs.

Icing

  • 100g butterIMG_2487
  • 70g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
  • 250g icing sugar
  1. Beat butter until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, cherry juice and half the icing sugar and beat on low until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat on high until fluffy.
  4. Ice as desired.

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Daring Bakers January 2015: Esterhazy Torte

IMG_2183For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?

Here we are in January, the month of beginnings, and here I am posting this daring baker’s challenge, recovering from a tonsillectomy. As much as I am hating everything right now and it hurts sooo much, hopefully this’ll be the start of a good year. I’ll keep this short and sweet as the painkillers are probably going to leave me pretty illiterate shortly. This torte was lovely, the original recipe called for hazelnuts but we’re more of an almond family. We (well, the rest of the country anyway) celebrated Australia Day yesterday and this cake resembles a vanilla slice (the Aussie millefeuille) so it’s appropriate for that too.

Ingredients

DACQUOISE LAYERS

6 large egg whites

125g caster (superfine) sugar

10 g vanilla

125g ground almonds

40 g plain (all purpose) flour

ALMOND CREAM

6 large egg yolks

125g caster (superfine) sugar

10 g vanilla

150g butter at room temperatureIMG_2186

75g ground almonds

APRICOT JAM GLAZE
45g apricot jam
1 teaspoon (5 ml) water

WHITE ICING
200g icing sugar
5 ml sunflower oil
15ml lemon juice
around 2 tablespoons (60 ml) hot water

CHOCOLATE DECORATION
25g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil
50g slivered almonds

Directions:

DACQUOISE

With an electric mixer beat the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar and vanilla sugar for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add in the almonds mixed with the flour and beat until just combined.

Cut baking paper into five squares large enough to draw a circle of 5 inch in diameter on the squares.

Turn the paper over and place one piece onto an up-side down oven tray and delicately spoon inside the circle one-fifth of the beaten egg white mixture.

Place the tray into an preheated moderate 160°C oven and bake for 14 minutes. It will look soft but that is how we want them. Your finger should not stick to the layer when you touch it.

Take the layer out together with the paper and place on an even surface

Cool the oven tray and repeat with the next 4 layers. It is important that the up-side down oven tray is cool when you start to bake the layers.

ALMOND FILLING

The filling is cooked in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler just take two pots so that the smaller one fits perfectly in the larger one and there is no gap between them.

Fill the larger pot with about 1-inch (2 cm) water place on the stove and bring the water to a slow boil, the water should not touch the smaller pot bottom.

Beat the egg yolks and the sugar with an electric mixer in the smaller pot for 30 seconds. Place the smaller pot into the larger one and cook for 14-15 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes for a short while with a wooden spoon always scraping the sides and the bottom. Stir constantly, near the end.

Let it cool

Beat for 30 seconds

Beat the room temperature butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy then beat into the cooked yolks

Add in the ground almonds and beat again until combined.

Set aside 2 tablespoons of the filling to spread around the torte at the end.

Divide the rest of the filling into 4 cups.

Line a large tray with some baking paper.

Remove the baking paper from one of the dacquoise and place it onto the tray, spread one quantity of filing evenly over the dacquoise, then place another layer on the top.

Repeat, making sure that the last layer is placed bottom-side-up (do not place filling on this surface) which will make it easier to obtain a smooth looking finish.

Place in the fridge for 1 hour

APRICOT JAM GLAZE

Heat the apricot jam and water on the stove.

Remove the top baking paper from the torte and spread the jam on top of it. We want a very thin layer, just barely covering the torte.

Place the torte back in the fridge for 30 minutes for the jam to cool.

When the 30 minutes is up, spread the 2 tablespoons of reserved filling around the cake.

WHITE ICING

By hand mix the powdered sugar, oil, lemon juice while adding teaspoon by teaspoon of hot water until the mixture is creamy, but not runny. Mix vigorously for a couple of minutes. The sugar should be lemony.

With a hot wet large knife quickly spread the icing over the apricot layer.

DECORATION

Before starting with the icing have the chocolate ready since it needs to go onto the soft icing in order to get the web.

Melt the chocolate with a teaspoon of oil, place in a pipping bag, or a  plastic bag with a cut in the corner that will act as the tip.

Draw four (4) concentric circles onto the cake, then with a knife (not the sharp side) or a wooden skewer run six (6) lines at 30 degree angle to the cake to get the decoration (see pictures for more details). Each line should be in a different direction. One running away from you and the next one running to you.

Press the slivered almonds around the cake to complete the decoration.

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Cherry and Almond Cake

Yay for saturday! everything good happens on a saturday I find. Today involved scones, horses and cherry cake. And voting….. But I got a sticker for that one so its not too bad. Cherry and almonds go together wonderfully and this cake is beautiful. A slight mishap involved using peppermint essence instead of almond essence…. Luckily almond essence is strong enough to trump the peppermint.

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Cherry and Almond Cake

3 eggs

180g sugar

200g finely grated potato

100g flour

100g almond meal

2tsp baking powder

1tsp almond essence

250g glacé cherries halved and coated with flour

 

Preheat oven to 180˚C and line 2 18cm tins with baking paper

Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy

Add the grated potato, followed by the flour, almond meal, baking powder and almond essence

Pour into the 2 tins and scatter the cherries evenly.

Bake for 20-30 minutes

Ice either with the cherry icing below or sandwiched with cherry jam and dusted with icing sugar

 

 

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Icing

50g butter

70g cream cheese

250g icing sugar

1tbsp cherry brandy

1tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and 100g of the icing sugar.

Add the remaining icing sugar, the cream cheese and the flavours.

 

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