The theme for December's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (SABH) is 'festive favourites'. With a lifetime of 'Christmas Days' behind me and lots of sweet treats in my repertoire, it took me a while to choose a favourite recipe to share.
My list of festive favourites includes the ever popular Australian desserts, such as fruit, jelly and custard trifle; mango topped pavlova; together with the continental favourites like tiramisu, nougat semi freddo and my own Ambrosia mascapone cream with Summer berries (a knockout dessert every time I make it). And then there are my mother's Hungarian Carnival doughnuts, beigli, strudel and honey kalacs. What to do, what to do!?
I have always loved to give pride of place to a platter of fresh, plump cherries on the Christmas table. To me, they are the perfect snack for Christmas Day. This year's cherry season has seen bountiful supplies at the local farmer's market, so I thought my Christmas Cherry Cake would be the recipe to showcase here. It is a Hungarian-style of cake and, I have to tell you, it is quite exquisite, especially fresh from the oven.
You can use your favourite fresh, pitted Summer fruit in this recipe. Sour cherries and small plums are particularly delicious, but well-drained Morello cherries can be successfully substituted during the cooler months.
Thank you to JJ from 84thand3rd for hosting this event and to the SABH organisers. Thank you also to all those who will participate and share their festive favourites. I look forward to dipping into your pages and learning new recipes. Happy baking and season's eatings!
CHRISTMAS CHERRY CAKE
125g European style unsalted butter, softened, chopped
1 cup vanilla infused caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
500g pitted fruit*
a sprinkling of rice crumbs
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, extra
icing sugar for dusting
Cream the butter and half the sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and lemon zest, and beat for several minutes until light and creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar, until peaks form.
Add the flour and the baking powder to the creamed egg and butter mixture, then gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Spread evenly into a lined and greased 31 x 25cm lamington tray. Sprinkle rice crumbs over the pitted cherries, this will stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Arrange the fruit evenly over the batter. Sprinkle with the extra vanilla sugar.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (190 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and cake springs back when gently touched. Allow to cool before turning out. Serve cut into squares, dusted with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container. Serves 10-12.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.