Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

July 14, 2009

There is nothing more satisfying to a baker than a well stocked pantry. My fickle fruit obsession has moved from blueberries to cherries. The farmers market offers so many berry varieties! I stuff cherries into the berry family due to convenience. I would make cobblers, crumbles, tarts, short breads, cakes and pies all day and every day but it seems like I am always running low on either butter or flour. If I can't decide on what recipes to try then I will narrow down my options based on my available ingredients. I should buy stock in butter. Sometimes I hide a package in one of the high side compartments of my refrigerator. Once I even forgot that I had some hidden and while I was searching in vane desperation I found the beloved butter. It felt as though I had discovered a 50 dollar bill in the pocket of my jeans.
When it comes to available ingredients it's either feast or famine. Both have their own pros and cons. If I'm joyfully stocked up on everything, I have a ridiculously hard time deciding on what to bake. Really, it should not be so difficult for someone to pick a recipe. I can spend half a day trying to figure out if I want chocolate, fruit, caramel, etc. Then phase two: Am I in the mood for cookies, bars, a tart, a cake. My brain in overloaded with possibilities. Usually I'll finally ask someone what they want me to make, However this can also be frustrating. I HATE when their response is " Oh, I don't know." or "I could go for anything." This does not help at all. If it gets to the point where I want to rip my hair out then Niles ( my cat ) will come to the rescue. He can be talkative or quiet. And sometime I can get him to meow for no apparent reason. I'll sit in front of wherever he is perched and read off the names of potential recipes. The recipe that receives the biggest response is the winner. Like a Zen master he will return to his napping as though he knows he has fulfilled his purpose. Today he chose a cherry almond coffee cake. He chose wisely. I am so proud of this cake. Coffee cakes can be on the dry side but this cake is unbelievably moist. As usual I would recommend only using fresh cherries. It would be great with raspberries or blueberries, or both. The cake itself is scrumptious. I used a lot of almond extract because it mingles perfectly with cherries. The combination of sour cream and yogurt helps keep the cake from having a flat, dry texture. I love streusel! The more butter the merrier. I was out of cinnamon ( sad ) but I used nutmeg and ginger. This is an excellent combination. The ginger isn't too strong and it fuses nicely with the almond cake. And because I was on a roll, I had to add some icing. It's just amaretto liqueur and confectioners sure. So simple but so delectable. This literally almost melts in your mouth as soon as it touches the tongue. It's chuck full of a variety of flavours but they all marry together in a joyous union of almond, cherries, ginger, and amaretto. It's not too heavy so it's alright to have seconds. :)

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

( printer friendly Recipe )

Streusel ingredients:
4 Tbsp. of butter cut up into small pieces
1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. of ground ginger
3 1/2 Tbsp. of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose- flour
1 tsp. of sea salt

Cake ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking Powder

1 tsp. of baking Soda

1 tsp. of sea salt

1/2 cup of butter ( softened )

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. of almond extract

1/2 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of yogurt

1 heaping cup of fresh cherries ( washed, dried and sliced with pits removed )

Glaze ingredients

Powdered sugar

Amaretto liqueur


Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch tube pan.

Prepare the streusel in a small bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the rest of the ingredients until it's coarse and crumbly. Set aside.

* Be warned that your hands will get very messy from slicing and pitting the cherries Wear an apron and protect your counter tops. * In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy ( about 3 minutes ). Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Add almond extract and beat until combined. Add the flour, and sour cream/yogurt intermittently. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture. I combined the sour cream and yogurt together in one cup to make it easier. Beat until Just combined.

Spoon half the mixture in prepared pan. Arrange to cherries in a single layer over the batter. Don't let them touch the edges or they will burn. Gently press them into the batter so they won't shift when you add the other half of dough. Top the cherries with the rest of the batter. Carefully smooth it out so it is as even as possible.

Bake until golden and it springs back when lightly touched. About 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Carefully invert pan onto a large plate then again carefully flip it over so the streusel side is up. Don't worry if some crumbs fall off. Cool completely before adding the glaze.

I didn't measure the glaze ingredients. Basically have a higher ratio of confectioners sugar to amaretto. Add as little or as much amaretto until you have your preferred consistency. Stir with a whisk until all the lumps are gone. Drizzle over the cooled cake with the whisk.



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Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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