Cherry Cake: Preheat oven to 400
degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick cooking spray, an 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan
and line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.
In a small
saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room
Rinse, dry, and pit all the cherries.
about 14 cherries (about 1/3), cut them in half, and set them aside (place on a
sheet of paper towel, cut side down) to be placed on
the top of the cake during baking. To the rest of the cherries, cut into
quarters (to be folded into the cake batter).
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour,
ground almonds, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer
(or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thick and light colored (about
3-5 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract (if using).
Then fold in, with a rubber spatula or wire whisk, the melted and cooled butter
and milk just until
incorporated. Next, fold in the flour mixture just until moistened. Gently fold in the
quartered cherries (not the cherries that you have
halved for the top of the cake). Pour the batter into the
prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
Bake for 15 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
15-20 minutes or until
golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. If
you find the cake over browning, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to
cool slightly (about 10-15 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature with a
dollop of softly whipped cream.
Makes 8 - 10 servings.
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