What exactly is an “original” recipe? As told to me by a totally credible food journalist during a food writing class I took with Florida Girl in DC, if you change just one ingredient…even if you up a quarter of a teaspoon to three-quarters of a teaspoon…it’s your recipe.
So what if you take a simple cake recipe from Cooking Channel TV and you dump in a quarter cup of ground almonds and a cup and a half of pitted, chopped sweet cherries and sprinkle sliced almonds on top? Is that your own?
I don’t know! I don’t care! I love it! I’m so proud of myself.
See. I’d been dipping into Dolcezza in Dupont Circle a lot over my long weekend – certainly their gelato is good, but it was the cherry almond scones that kept me coming back. But after five days of very dry scones (that’s how they should be, for the record) I was craving something of the softer, spongier variety.
Que the (sorta) new Cooking Channel. Hot day number dos, The BF and I were still holed up inside and watching Laura Calder’s French Food at Home when she made this Angel Cake. Angelic? Yes. A wee bit plain for what I was craving?Yep!
Combine my love of the cherry/almond flavor profiles and a soft, spongy (bonus points for being incredibly simple) cake and I felt like a culinary Einstein.
Don’t laugh at me. I can hear you!
Something about this cake, its intense almond aroma has you tasting it before it even hits your tongue. Then you get smacked by the almond extract! And the ground almonds actually in the cake! And the crunch of the almond slices on top! And then the cool, smooth roll of the cherries just round it all out.
It’s divine. It’s all mine. And my co-workers’ who ate it all today. And now it’s yours too!
I hope you…
Inspired by Laura Calder’s Angel Cake and the cherry almond scones at Dolcezza in Dupont Circle
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1-1 1/2c pitted, rough chopped cherries (very rough, cut each half in half)
- 1/4c ground almonds, 1 tbsp sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat the whites to stiff peaks in a bowl. Beat in the yolks, one by one. Continuing to beat, add the sugar and vanilla, and finally the flour. You should have a very high, moussy batter. Gently fold in the cherries and ground almonds.
Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake until golden on top, risen high, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let the cake cool 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and let cool completely. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche, parfait, or ice cream. Ideally I would have eaten this, I mean, served this, with creme fraiche…but it was just me. And I didn’t have time to make creme fraiche. I wanted to eat it all. Now. But for you guys, who might take this to a party, serve it with creme fraiche!