Cherry Coffeecake

How do you eat your layered desserts? do you try to get every component in one bite or do you dissect the layers, choosing, for example, to first eat the meringue and then the crust from a lemon meringue pie? If you’re one of the many people who like to go top-down, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I too, belong to the muffin-top-association-of-impatient-eaters. Coffeecakes are no exception and more often then not I find myself in the kitchen helplessly stealing (side-note: is it really stealing if you made it yourself?) pieces of crumbly goodness from desserts like this cherry cake I made Tuesday night.  Non-withstanding the slightly long ingredients list, this fruity cake is incredibly easy to make and because of it’s healthy components can be eaten both as dessert and breakfast. If you’re feeling especially virtuous, you could remove the crumble topping completely and just eat the cake as is, but really, why would you?  I like the cherries+dark chocolate combination but i can also imagine using cranberries and white chocolate, blueberries and whole almond pieces or raspberries and pistachios, every combination of course bettered by a final dollop of freshly whipped cream.

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Ingredients:

1 egg

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 cup yogurt

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 cup 1/4 cup almond flour

1 cup all purpose flour

3 tsp cinnamon

zest of one orange

1/4 tsp salt

1 heaping tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped roughly (substitute white chocolate chunks or chopped nuts)

1 cup cherries, sliced in fours (or any other berry)

for streusel:

1/4 cup almond flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp cold butter

How to:

-Preheat oven to 180 c and line a large rectangular 8×10 pan with parchment and butter along the sides (really I just eyeballed the size of my pan by looking at how much batter I had)

  1. Combine first 6 (wet) ingredients in a large bowl and whisk by hand until airy
  2. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients, including cherries, until cherries and chocolate chunks are thoroughly covered in flour (this is to prevent excess water coming out of the fruit during baking)
  3. Mix dry into wet, folding mixture until completely homogonized
  4. Spread mixture into prepared pan, making sure the batter is level so it bakes evenly
  5. Make streusel in what was once the dry bowl, combing the almond flour, brown sugar and cold butter with your hands (or with a pastry cutter) quickly, until you achieve a crumbly, lumpy mixture
  6. Spread over batter in pan evenly
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes (start checking at the 40 min mark)
  8. Let cool and enjoy with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
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Almond sponge cake with vanilla whipped cream

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Unexpected deliciousness happens, it really does. Yesterday my family was having a few guests over and five minutes into grocery shopping for salad ingredients and fawning over ready made black forest cakes, my mother says, we haven’t even opened the almond flour I bought a month ago, why don’t we just make a cake ourselves? and before you could say presto-chango, we were back home hulling organic strawberries and melting chocolate in the microwave. We didn’t have any specific cake in mind so we decided to go with the classic eastern-European nut sponge that so many Balkan women know by heart.  Sort a few eggwhites, add as many tablespoons of sugar as there are eggs, whip until stiff and fold in ground nuts. Boom. I think it goes against family tradition to closely adhere to baking guidelines anyway, especially as most of our family recipes don’t exactly explain things very well (bake until done? heat oven until hot? what?) so exact quantities are usually left to interpretation.  Once the sponges were baked, we spread both cakes with melted chocolate, covered them with vanilla whipped cream and threw in a few strawberries. Simple, but overwhelmingly delicious. Too delicious in fact, to not share  with the world. This recipe is rough around the edges, so feel free to change it up. We used strawberries but I’m sure it would be even more delicious with fresh raspberries. I used lactose-free whipped cream (#thereisagod) and Ikea dark chocolate (I kid you not, it’s super yum) as well as ready made almond flour from Costco. Give it a go! nobody will never know it only took an hour start-to-finish.

Ingredients:

 

  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar (to stiffen the egg-whites)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate melted
  • 1 cup strawberries (or other fruit), sliced into fours.
  • 1 carton whipping cream (lactose-free or no), whipped
  • 1 vanilla pod

How to:

– Pre-heat oven to 350. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and butter sides

  • Separate eggs, keeping egg yolks for another recipe.
  • Whip egg-whites with sugar and cream of tartar until mixture is so thick, you can lift your bowl upside down and egg-whites won’t budge (aka, stiff peaks).
  • Carefully fold in almonds until thoroughly combined and divide between pans.
  • Bake until cakes are golden, set and a toothpick comes out easily (about 20 minutes, but different for every oven).
  • Cool.
  • Spread sponges with melted dark chocolate and let cool in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
  • Whip cream with the vanilla until stiff.
  • Cover one of the sponges with 1/3 of the whipped cream, add strawberry slices, another 1/3 of the whipped cream and cover with other sponge.
  • Add a final layer whipped cream, decorate with strawberries and more chocolate drizzle.
  • Let sit in the fridge until dinner is served.
  • Enjoy!