Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Auvergne cherry cake - with a twist

Growing up in the (mostly) cold and wet hills of my childhood, we did not see a lot of cherries.  The only cherry trees that grew near us were of the ornamental variety, and in public places like our local primary school.  Cherries are rather expensive during their short season, which lasts around 100 days apparently.  So yes, you guessed right; cherries were not on the Sherrys Pickings childhood table.
My parents were old school, so we grew up with the occasional apple, orange and banana; nothing fancy or costly. Now that I buy my own fruit, I do treat myself to cherries over the summer season.  They are such gorgeous, purply, sweet globes of lusciousness.  Though of course there are many varieties including the ones called Rainier (I think) which are a lovely red and yellow-skinned type.  You do not often see these in sunny Queensland and in fact, I first encountered them when visiting long-time friends in Hobart who grow lots of fruit and veg. and herbs in their garden.  They had these growing on a grafted cherry tree which had 2 or more kinds of cherry on it.  I know it is not cherry season now so it may seem odd that I am making a cherry cake but I happened to have a pack of them in the freezer and some yeast, so why not?

Rainier cherries (photo by Christopher Thomas)

I first found this recipe on the website for Mount Gisborne cherries, and have since added a few tweaks of my own.

Ingredients:

3 eggs -beaten
4 tbs caster sugar
125g plain flour
1 rounded tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp Dutch cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbs milk
350g frozen cherries (or 500g fresh cherries which you then pit)
50g chopped chocolate

Method:

Throw the eggs and sugar into a food processor or blender; give them a quick whizz till mixed-20 seconds should do it
Tip in the flour, yeast, cocoa and vanilla extract
Whizz again till they are mixed together- but not for too long- you don't want it beaten to a pulp:)
Add 2 tbs of milk and give it a quick blast-- it may need more depending on your flour; you will end up with a smooth and not too thin mixture, like a pancake batter 
Pour it into a buttered flan dish  (mine has an 18cm base)
Toss the cherries and chopped chocolate over the batter   
Bake at 220C for 35-45 minutes  -  check it at 30 mins.

It is ready when a skewer comes out clean from the middle  (no need to worry about those burnt edges; it tasted fine.  I think I had my oven up a bit too high)
Serve it warm or cold with lashings of thick cream or ice-cream or even creme fraiche as I did

the blender worked well for this recipe

piling on the fruit

poor bunny!  those ears went to a good purpose tho





the hills where I grew up-on a sunny day




4 comments:

  1. My parents were not fond of cherries so we rarely had them when I was growing up. When I lived in Victoria they were readily available and I ate my weight in them the first year there. I've done better since. :)

    Your cake would be a delight to eat!

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    1. Oh Maureen I think you should eat them by the bucketload !

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  2. Cherries are one of my favourite fruit. I was lucky enough to get some rainier cherries at the markets earlier this year and I savoured them. This cake looks divine as does the view from where you grew up Sherry!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine. Cherries always make me think of nice things like summer and Christmas and friends in Hobart ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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