I love cherries, so does my little one. She likes to take small bites of cherries. Usually they are expensive, still I buy them whenever I can, and maybe it is because I am addicted to cherries. My hubby likes to eat cherries fresh, but I love to make dishes with them, especially cherry cake. Cherry cake is delicious that is word I can say. I love the soft spongy cake with browned crust and beautiful Polka design with cherries on the top of the cake. When I was a small girl I liked polka designs especially black and white and red and white, I had some dresses in that design. I loved to wear them every time and Amma would ask why you are wearing same dress every day. I would tell her I like these designs very much. In old Hindi movies, sari usually had a polka design.
Cherries have lots of health benefits. Tart cherries contain high level antioxidants and are rich in fiber compared to most other fruits. Cherries also contain melatonin and thus promote good sleep patterns, and prevent aging and memory loss. Cherries also are found to help in overall weight loss, reduce arthritis etc read more from here .
I know all these health benefits will reduce if you bake them as cake. What I can do, when I saw recipe for cheery cake in this book, The Provence cookbook by Patricia Wells, I was bowled over. So I ignored health benefits of eating fresh cherries and made this cake, which turned out to be delicious. I changed the original recipe by reducing the amount of butter, added ½ cup of wheat flour, and cinnamon. I wanted the cherries to be distributed evenly in my cake, however it didn’t happen. It got concentrated in some places; still I got a nice cake. Here comes the recipe.
What you need
Recipe adapted from The Provence cookbook by Patricia Wells
Cherries: 4 cups (About 40 cherries)
All purpose flour: 1 cup (I used unbleached king Arthur All purpose flour)
Whole wheat flour: ½ cup (I used King Arthur premium whole wheat flour)
Baking powder: 1 teaspoon (I used Aluminum free)
Baking soda: ½ teaspoon
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Eggs: 2 no
Sugar: ¾ cup
Butter: 3 tablespoons (melted and cooled)
Canola oil: ¼ cup
Milk: 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
Lemon zest: 1 teaspoon
How I made
Pre heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit and lightly oil and line the bottom with parchment paper on a 9 inch cake pan and set aside.
Wash and dry the cherries using a paper towel, remove the stems and seeds and cut into half. Set aside cut 15 cherries (to be placed on the top of the cake during baking). Remaining cherries cut again into two pieces resulting 4 pieces from each cherry and set aside.
In a large bowl sift, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
In the bowl of Kitchen aid stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and lemon colored for about 3 minutes. To this add the melted cooled butter, milk, Vanilla and lemon zest and beat until just incorporated. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything gets incorporated. Gently fold in pitted and cut cherries (but not the 15 cherries that have halved for the top of the cake). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake for 17 minutes then remove from oven. Quickly arrange the remaining cherries, cut side down, on the top of the cake.
Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Yield; 10 servings
Will you make it again: Yes I will