Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Love Cherries

And the end of cherry season is fast approaching.  We've been buying cherries and they have been wonderful to eat, but I thought I better bake with them at least once, before the season is gone.

I love perusing through the food blogs and sites available and I always stumble upon things that interest me.  This recipe for a dark cherry Bundt cake comes from a blog called desertculinary.blogspot.com.  These guys have been doing this for a while now and I see many recipes on their blog that I would like to try.  But I was on a mission to make something with cherries, so I picked this recipe for today.

I love the taste of cherry with the almond extract and lemon zest. They taste great together and, as suspected, the yogurt gave this cake a nice slight tang. Maybe a cherry or chocolate sauce would be a nice accompaniment. 

Next time, I think I will add some dark chocolate chips or chunks of bittersweet chocolate in with the cherry filling.  I love chocolate and cherry together.  I would have done it this time, but didn't have the bittersweet chocolate.  There is always next time.

I didn't have Kirsch and didn't want to spend the money to buy a bottle (it ain't cheap!), so I opted for a equal parts cherry juice and vodka. Hmmm!  I also used substituted All Purpose flour for the whole wheat in this case, only because I was out of whole-wheat flour.


For the filling

1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 
3 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped 
2 tablespoons kirsch 
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare the filling
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add cherries, kirsch and zest. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and has reduced to about 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in almond extract and set aside.

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350

1 2/3 cups cake flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can use all-purpose flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 cups vanilla yogurt, divided
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

To prepare the cake

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add half the yogurt - mix until very smooth. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Mix in the remaining yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined - be sure to scrape the sides down once or twice as needed. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients just until combined.

Scoop just over half of the mixture into a 10" bundt pan coated with nonstick spray.
Spoon the cherry mixture over the batter. Top with the remaining batter. Use a thin knife to gently swirl the batter and cherries together.

Place in the over and bake until a skewer placed into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 65 minutes. Remove and let rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning it out to cool completely.