Recipe: Almond Cake with Brandied Cherries
“The cake has a tendency to sink in the middle as it cools, so don’t worry if it looks a little wonky,” advises Katy. “What it lacks in beauty, it more than makes up for in taste.” The Brandied Cherries require advance planning: It takes six weeks in the fridge to get perfectly boozy fruit. “I use local Flathead cherries, such as ‘Lambert’ or ‘Lapin,’” says Katy.“ But any firm, fleshy, dark sweet cherry works.”
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, plus more for pan
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tube (7 ounces) almond paste, such as Odense
- 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Brandied Cherries or good-quality fruit jam
- ¾ cup Demerara or turbinado sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 2 allspice berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup Calvados or other brandy
- 1½ pounds fresh cherries, pitted
- 1-quart canning jar with lid
Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, generously butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch-round springform pan. In a small bowl, mix sour cream with baking soda. In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt together. Set aside prepared pan and both bowls.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, cream remaining butter and granulated sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and add almond paste, a little at a time, as you continue beating mixture for 8 minutes more. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and continue beating until incorporated. (Batter will look curdled.) Add almond extract and reserved sour cream mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add reserved flour mixture, beating just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to evenly distribute.
Bake until top of cake is golden brown and returns to its original shape when pressed, and edge separates from side of pan, about 1 hour. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Right before serving, dust top with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with Brandied Cherries or your favorite fruit jam.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring ½ cup water, sugar, lemon juice, cardamom pods, cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in brandy and cherries.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer cherries to jar. Pour liquid over fruit to cover and screw on lid. Place jar in refrigerator and allow cherries to marinate for 6 weeks before using.