Cherry Almond Loaf
Cherry season is almost over, so hurry up and get some cherries so you can make this cake!
Eileen reminded me about this wonderful loaf cake from Deborah Madison's book Local Flavors. I found some nice Washington State cherries at Whole Foods so I got in under the bell.
I love loaf cakes, they are easy to bake and I like to have a slice for my after school snack with coffee.
Cherries and almonds belong together.
Cherry Almond Loaf (adapted from Local Flavors & Williams Sonoma site):
1 cup whole blanched almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp. for sprinkling
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted (I used enough to cover the cake)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan or 9" loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
In a food processor, coarsely chop almonds. Transfer 1/4 cup of the almonds to a bowl and reserve.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to food processor. Process until remaining almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl.
In a food processor, cream butter with cup granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, blending each one fully. Add almond and vanilla extracts.
Add half of flour mixture and pulse to blend. Add remaining flour mixture. Pulse until smooth. Scrape into prepared pan and place cherries on top in a single layer.
Mix reserved almonds with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and sprinkle around edge of cake. I had extra nuts, so I sprinkled them over the top of the cherries too.
Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, if using a springform pan about 45 minutes, and if baking in a loaf pan about 55 minutes to an hour (cover with foil if the top is getting too brown).
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely on a wire rack. Transfer to a cake plate. Dust edge with confectioners' sugar if desired.