I cannot let cherry season pass without making this Cherry + Almond Loaf Cake at least once. Cherries + Almonds is another one of those combinations I am just crazy about.
Unfortunately, the loaf cake is gone... eaten in less than 24 hours by me and my family. I guess I will be forced to make another ;-P
The only change I made to this recipe was to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees since I was ending up with burnt cherries at 375˚F. At 350˚ I will still cover the cake with foil towards the end of the baking time. Also, lining the loaf pan with wax paper, after buttering and dusting with flour, makes it a breeze to unmold the cake.
Cherry + Almond Loaf Cake
adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
• 1 cup blanched almonds
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose, unbleached flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
• 3 eggs, at room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 1/2 cup pitted sweet cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a 5x8-inch loaf pan (or in this case, a French Matfer 250 x 80 loaf pan). Coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor. Remove 1/4 cup of almonds and set aside. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the remaining almonds and process until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Cream the butter with the 3/4 cup of sugar in the bowl of the food processor, then add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one fully as you go. Add the flavorings, then half the flour-almond mixture. Pulse several times to incorporate. Add the remainder and pulse until smooth. Scrape into the prepared pan and cover with the cherries.
3. Mix the reserved almonds with the teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake the cake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cover towards the end of baking if the cherries seem to be darkening too much. Let cool in the pan, then turn out the cake and transfer to a plate.
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