Friday, January 31, 2014

Cherry Chip Sponge Cake with Almond Whip


It's hard to believe we're saying goodbye to January already! It's completely passed me by. I've spent this cold month scribbling in recipe journals with red velvet cake batter on my elbows. And in my hair. And on my dog. (Sorry Biscuit.)

Much of this month went toward styling, shooting and re-shooting book recipes, drinking coffee and Emergen-C, and doing the most dishes ever, ever, ever.  It's a month that made me wear all my socks at once (brrrr!).





But at month's end January made my world a snow globe, which made the cold a little more bearable. And gave me enough time to create a tutorial for homemade rolled fondant, which is a total game changer when it comes to wrapping beauty and brains and good taste all in one porcelain white sugary blanket. (I urge you to try it!)


As for this cake, I've been dreaming of it since early December. The cherry chip sponge is sturdy enough to stack high, and the bright-tasting almond whipped filling is a lovely compliment. Since I had  leftover homemade rolled fondant, I made sugar cookies and flavored the fondant with almond extract. I think they make an eye-pleasing accompaniment to this cake - yummy too!

I had planned on using maraschino cherries as a cake garnish, but I accidentally ate the ones I'd set aside (funny how that happens). So, I rolled some of the red fondant into little cherries and used mint stems for faux cherry stems. I think they might be even cuter than the real thing!



Cherry Chip Sponge Cake with Almond Whip
[click for printable version]
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Sprinkle Bakes original recipe
Prep: 30 minutes, total time about 1 hour

Cherry chip sponge
4 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup/150g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup/125g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Rose or pink gel food color
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/ 100g maraschino cherries, chopped

Almond filling
2 cups/16.8 oz heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup/48g granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
4 maraschino cherries with stems
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 15x10 jelly-roll pan with white vegetable shortening and line with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer for 5 minutes (I always set a timer for this, so I’m absolutely sure the eggs are whipped to maximum volume).  Properly whipped eggs will lighten in color considerably and have the appearance of yellow cake batter.
  3. With the mixer still running, slowly add sugar and oil to the whipped eggs.  Next, add buttermilk and almond extract.  
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add to the liquid ingredients.  Mix until well combined.  Mix in the pink gel food color a little at a time until the desired shade is achieved, usually about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
  5. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon flour over the chopped maraschino cherries and stir briefly. Fold the flour-coated cherries into the sponge batter.  Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes; check for doneness at 12 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when pressed in the center.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a large wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Sparingly trim the edges of the cake with a serrated knife so that the dimensions are 14x9. Cut the cake into four rectangles approximately 7 x 4.5-inches. Stack the cake slices and cut into four even slices or “fingers”. 
  8. For the almond filling, place the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl and whip until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Add the almond extract and whip until stiff peaks form.  Transfer 1 1/2 cups whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Using an off-set spatula, frost three sponge fingers with a little of the whipped cream and stack them; place an unfrosted sponge finger on top.  Pipe an undulating line of whipped cream on top and garnish with a maraschino cherry.  Repeat with remaining sponge fingers. 
  9. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Find my sugar cookie recipe here, and my Beginner's Guide to Fondant tutorial here!


26 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is such a pretty cake!

Cheers,

Rosa

Gwen said...

I just had a blast of nostalgia just from reading the title. Cherry Chip cake reminds me of a birthday cake I had when I was a little girl. Don't think I've had it since but I do have a 4 year old daughter who will just adore this cake (her mommy too :)

Laura Maffe said...

Pretty and yummy! I
Cherries make me thinking about summer and this red colour it's perfect for Valentine's day... Great job!
have a nice day :D

Belinda Lo said...

Cherries are right now at their peak here in Australia but I have never hear of cherry chip until today. I in awe of that light fluffy pink cake and how it looks against the filling. While I might hate the convention of pink for Valentine's day; I think i can go for cherry cake since they have to be pink and red right?

Sanam said...

This looks so incredible! Almost too pretty to eat....almost!! ;)

Sanam
www.bakemestyle.blogspot.com

SeeJillBake said...

You had me at Cherry and Almond...

Ashley said...

This is perfect for the Valentine's Day brunch I'm planning. Would cake batter work well in a couple of 6 inch cake pans? Trying to feed as many people as possible with the least amount of work :)

Heather Baird said...

Hi Ashley,

This is a sponge cake, so it's pretty dense. I think it might be a little too tough to be baked as a regular cake layer. You might check out this recipe, which is cherry chip and make nice 6-7-inch cake layers.

http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2012/01/cherry-vanilla-layer-cake.html

Ashley said...

Hi Heather,
Thanks so much!! I was already planning on baking that cake when this one popped up in my inbox this morning! Meant to be :)

wallflourgirl said...

Sponge cake is my mom's favorite and I love the idea of incorporating cherry flavors--an awesome recipe, definitely bookmarked!

Anonymous said...

Goodness, how inspired I am every time I step into your "garden". I do also enjoy watching your video tutorials...please post more!

Medeja said...

This cake looks so cute and so..pink!:)

burnttoast said...

Your faux cherries totally fooled me. Strong work

Javi Trulove said...

OMG they look soooo adorable! it's perfect for Valentine's day. It's the perfect colour and the perfect flavours for the season..

June said...

Simple and elegant! I love it!

Colette Joseph said...

Sponge cake with cherries and almonds. Could Valentine's be any better?
This is lovely, Heather. I'm going to make this for my hubby. Thanks! xo

Laura Dembowski said...

I have always loved cherry cake. This is positively beautiful!

Kristin said...

These pictures are beautiful! Do you have any tips for starting a food blog on what websites to use for templates? You've inspired me!

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

So beautiful, delicate, gorgeous, delicious and perfect! I love the color, the details, the cherries :) I am in awe!

Becky said...

This cherry cake looks sooo yummy, can't wait to try out this recipe :)

Nicole (Bellenza Party Suite) said...

This looks so gorgeous and delicious!

Melissa AuClair said...

What a pretty pink cake! Your photography is so lovely; this cake looks like the perfect Valentine treat :)

Abbie said...

So delicious. My sweet tooth wants some cake now :)

Jennie @themessybakerblog said...

This cake is gorgeously pink and looks so soft and pillowy. Love your site. Just found you through The Kitchn.

Rachel said...

Wow, this sounds like a great combination! I love almond and cherry flavors but have never tried using them together. I'll definitely have to try it.

prachi agarwal said...

beautiful , and yummy happy to follow u .also view my space http://prachisvegkitchen.blogspot.in

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