Almond cake with cherries, white chocolate and chambord

Almond cake with cherries and white chocolate

I have a cupboard in which I keep all the cakes or cookies that I bake. I had a dream last night that the cupboard was overflowing. I opened the door, and mounds of cookies and pieces of cake came spilling out. In my dream I had a genius idea of what to bake with all of the excess baked goods! And then my elderly dog did this thing she does, where she click clacks frantically around on our wooden floors, and it sounds like she’s desperate to go outside, so you heave yourself out of bed and down the stairs, only to find her back on her bed, staring at you with a “What are you doing up at this hour” expression on her face. So we’ll never know what I would have done with the dream cakes in the dream cupboard. Perhaps the dream was a sign that I should slow down on the baking. Honestly, though, it’s February. If you don’t have the promise of some small sweet thing to have with your coffee, why the hell would you get out of bed at all?

I made this cake for my father’s birthday. He doesn’t really like chocolate, but I snuck a small amount of white chocolate in. He does like almonds and cherries, though. (At least I hope he does!) So this is the cake I made. It’s a dense cake with ground almonds, made slightly lighter by the inclusion of 3 extra whipped egg whites. (I used the yolks in the ice cream!) In the middle of the layers, we find some cherry preserves thinned with chambord. (I love chambord, but any fruity liqueur would do. Or amaretto. Or anything you like!) And then I topped it with a thin white chocolate/chambord ganache.

Here’s Bob Marley doing Sugar Sugar. Today is his birthday!! I wonder what kind of cake he would have liked.

1 cup blanched flaked almonds – ground
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
2 eggs & 3 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
2 t. vanilla
1 T amaretto (or 1 t. almond essence)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 cup milk (+/-)

1 cup cherry preserves, preferably one with lots of big pieces of cherries in it.
1 t. chambord or liqueur of your choice

1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. chambord
pinch salt

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the 2 whole eggs, the vanilla and the amaretto.

Process the almonds with the 3/4 milk until they’re fairly smooth. (Not a paste – you want some texture.)

WHip the eggwhites till quite stiff, and add a pinch of cream of tartar.

Stir the flour, bp, bs, and salt into the butter and egg mixture. Add the almonds and milk, and mix till blended. Add more milk to thin it out a little if it’s too thick. You want it about the consistency of whipped cream.

Put a dollop of egg whites into the batter, stir to lighten, then add the rest and fold in carefully.

Bake in two round butter & floured or lined pans. 375 (preheated) for 20 minutes to half an hour. Till it’s lightly browned on top, and springs back up when you gently press the center. Allow to cool completely.

Put one cake on a plate. Spread the cherries mixed with chambord in an even layer, and then place the other cake on top.

In a small saucepan warm the 1/2 cup of milk till just bubbly on the edges. Add the vanilla and chambord, and then pour it over the chocolate chips. Stir till the chips are all melted, and everything is smooth. If the warmth of the milk doesn’t do it, you can put the pan over another pan with boiling water in it.

I let the white chocolate cool slightly, before I poured it on the cake, so it didn’t just run down and puddle on the edges. Spread it carefully with a knife to go to the places you want it.

Put it in a cold place to set.


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