Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cherry-Almond Cake

I love having a good coffee cake recipe or two up my sleeve as we head into the holiday season.  Coffee cake is versatile, and works for brunch, a tea time snack, or even dessert.

A few notes on ingredients for this particular coffee cake.  I have double-confirmation from the wonderful folks at Odense that their almond paste (along with their marzipan) is vegan, using beet sugar as opposed to cane sugar.  Thanks Odense!  This recipe also calls for a can of pitted tart cherries in water.  Some brands add sugar, but if you can find Red Hills Fruit Company, the cherries are sold without any added sugar.  Oddly enough I found mine on the shelves of a Home Goods store.  The cherries are more readily available online at in a 29 ounce jar; use half for this recipe and save the remaining cherries for another use.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons Tofutti cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons almond paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1/3 cup plain non-dairy milk
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) drained jar pitted tart cherries in water
  • 1 teaspoon vegan powdered sugar
1. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Combine the flour in a bowl with the baking powder, salt, and cloves.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2/3 cup sugar with the butter, cream cheese, almond paste, almond extract, and Ener-G egg.  Beat at medium speed until blended.

2. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Spoon the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. 

(Note: because of the almond paste the batter will be a bit sticky - use a rubber spatula to spread to the edges of the pan if needed).

3. In a small bowl, combine the almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar; sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Arrange the cherries evenly on top.

(Note: quickly toast your almonds ahead of time in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking frequently.  You'll know they're done when they smell toasty).

4. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes - a wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove from the pan and sift with the powdered sugar.

I enjoyed serving this cake for brunch with steaming mugs of coffee, and a fresh fruit and nut salad on the side.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1 wedge), Calories 191 

Tasting Notes:
I was surprised at how strong the almond flavor was from a mere 2 tablespoons almond paste - in a good way - and really enjoyed the cherry-almond duo.  Because of the almond paste in the batter, the interior of this coffee cake stayed moist, while the top developed a nice crispness in the oven, and the perfect crunch from the sugar sprinkled on top.  I think the cake could actually be a touch sweeter, since the cherries are tart, though others may enjoy that it is only subtly sweet.   Either way, this cake was perfect with a steaming cup of hot coffee


No comments:

Post a Comment