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Sour Cherry Sauce Atop a Dense Buttery Almond Cake – Happy Presidents Day!

Sour Cherry Sauce Atop a Dense Buttery Almond Cake – Happy Presidents Day!

One of the ways I try incorporating fun into our family life is to celebrate the smaller holidays. The “big” holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays require, frankly, a lot of work and energy. Not only does the food play a huge role, but there is often decorating, shopping and wrapping involved. The lesser-known holidays provide a theme and a reason to simply get together and enjoy one another’s company. Oh, and maybe enjoy a tasty treat, too. So, February brings a “big” holiday, Valentine’s Day, but it also brings with it a less-celebrated holiday, Presidents Day.



Celebrate Presidents Day by inviting friends and family over for dessert. Almond Cake with Sour Cherry Sauce is the perfect dessert to serve – remember the story about George Washington cutting down the cherry tree? I’m not sure there is any truth to the story, but it does provide a convenient reason to make a cherry dessert!



A quick trip to the store to pick up a couple of special ingredients (almond paste, sliced almonds and canned tart red cherries) and you’re ready to bake. Almond paste comes in a variety of ways – canned, chub, tube, etc. It’s made up of ground almonds and sugar, and provides a wonderful, yummy flavor to this cake. Look for it in the baking aisle at your grocery store. The recipe - calls for a 9-inch springform pan. If you don’t have one, line a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick aluminum foil. You should be able to lift the finished cake out of the pan and easily remove the foil.



To make the cake, heat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside. Combine the butter, almond paste and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl.



Almond Paste in Bowl


Using your mixer, beat until the almond paste is fully blended and the mixture is creamy.



Beat in Ingredients


Add the eggs and almond extract. Continue beating until well mixed. Add all the remaining cake ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sliced almonds) and beat at low speed until well mixed.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.



Spread Batter in Pan


Bake 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



Test with Toothpick


Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack then loosen the sides of the cake by running a knife around the inside edge of the pan.



Run Knife Around Edge


Remove the sides of the pan and cool completely.



Remove Cake Pan Sides


While the cake is cooling, prepare the tart cherry sauce. Open the cans of cherries and drain the juice from the cherries right into a 3-quart saucepan; set the cherries aside. Stir 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch into the cherry juice until well mixed.



Drain Cherry Juice


Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened.



Cook Until Thickened


Stir in the cherries.



Stir in Cherries


Serve the warm cherry sauce over pieces of cake.



Cherry Sauce on Cake


Whether or not George actually chopped down a cherry tree, I’m sure glad the story says he did. That way we can enjoy this scrumptious Almond Cake with Sour Cherry Sauce while celebrating Presidents Day!


Have fun creating new traditions with your family. Come back and let me know what you think of the recipe.




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You never say how much cornstarch.

Posted May 15, 2016 by Sandy
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Mallory
Hi Sandy, if you click the underlined recipe link in the second paragraph, it will take you to the recipe which has ingredient amounts and directions. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Happy baking!
Posted June 01, 2016