Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Cherry-Almond Cake

Servings: 8
Try using Royal Ann cherries (if in season) for this moist cake. The cake keeps well but is best served a little warm from the oven. The cherries will sink a little; so if you like, you can add two additional tablespoons of flour, toss the cherries in the flour, so they will keep afloat while the cake is baking.

1 cup whole blanched almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 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
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment. Flour sides.

In a food processor, coarsely chop almonds. Transfer 1/4 cup 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 3/4 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. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

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.

Makes 8 servings.

Date: May 7, 2004