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Mini Cherry Cakes

Nov 3, 2012

Cherries
While I was munching on these cherries on a hot, boring summer afternoon, overwhelmed with their excessive sweetness as well as the usual feeling of guilt for not having done anything creative for my blog for the last month and a half, my eyes caught sight of Donna Hay's Essential Fruit book which I had borrowed from a friend and was dragging my feet to return. My feeling of guilt grew deeper as I remembered that I hadn't made use of any of its recipes. My friend would soon call to ask for her book (will certainly remember to do so when she reads this, if not then) and before she did, I had to make use of it, at least for the sake of the blog. Without further self-pitty, I reached for the book and cruised through its pages to see what would be the best thing to do out of these cherries using as minimum effort and ingredients as possible. I knew the easiest option would be to go for recipes with puff pastry and use the store-bought sheets in the freezer but having written about Tarte Tatin previously, I thought I'd get my hands dirty a little more this time.

I immediately fell for the cinnamon pear pie recipe. Individual servings would be perfect for cherries. I grabbed the bowl of remaining cherries, pitted them, mixed the batter and the pies were baking in the oven in few minutes. The outcome made me wonder why on earth would Donna Hay use anything but cherries for this recipe. Well she can't use cherries for everything if the book is called 'fruits', can she, I answered to myself.

Cherry pieSpoon them out of the ramekin or transfer them to a plate and call them 'proper cake'.

I gobbled down two of the pies right away, served the third piece to a friend who dropped by unannounced; made a great impression by having freshly baked pies handy just like a food blogger is expected to. I took the last piece to my grandparents' for after-dinner teatime. They didn't show much enthusiasm when they saw the size of the cake, but when I sliced it into four and everyone had their tiny bite, they praised God for the gift their grand daughter possessed in cooking. (Although they might have reaffirmed their opinion on my thriftiness.) Those cherries proved fruitful indeed. Certainly too fruitful for a day destined to be spent in vain.  

Cherry cake  

Cherry Cakes

serves 4

Recipe: adapted from Donna Hay's "Simple Essentials: Fruit"

Kitchenware required:

  • 4 ramekins

Ingredients:

  • 165 g (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 40 g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 165 g (3/4 cup) cream
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 110 g (1 cup) ground almonds
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) flour, sifted
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C/350F. Grease and flour the ramekins. With a hand mixer, whisk together sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cream, egg yolks, ground almonds and flour.
  2. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, for about 3-4 minutes. Gently fold them into the almond mix. Spoon the batter into ramekins. Push couple of cherries halfway into each ramekin.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden on the surface.
  4. Leave them to cool for 20 minutes than pass a sharp knife around the edges and transfer them to a plate. Serve warm or cool, preferably with vanilla ice-cream.
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