Cherry Upside Down Cake

Hello dear friends! Here is the history of another childhood cake that I really, really LOVE:

My father’s sister (my favorite aunt) had a wild cherry tree in her backyard. It was growing quite close to the house, it was very tall and surpassing the roof of their two-story home. I loved visiting my aunt! I would often stop by her house to have a glass of juice, a treat and to get some auntie love. She would take my hand, lead me through her bedroom to the open window and she would reach out and grab a cherry branch. I would stand there, holding the branch, picking the sweet, little cherries and stuffing them in my mouth. Didn’t wash them either and I am still alive! Can you believe that? 😉

cherry

In February of 2004 we moved to our first home here in the U. S. Snow and cold prevented me to explore my backyard and see what’s there, but when the spring came, imagine my surprise! Right in the corner, just a few feet from the house there was a wild cherry tree! God sure works in mysterious ways!   Having that wild cherry tree in my yard, almost next to my bedroom window made me feel just a little more at home.

cherry

Auntie’s cherry upside down cake is mouth-watering good, moist, lightly sweet and served with vanilla whipped cream on top. Since my wild cherries are not ripe yet, I used bing cherries this time. Nonetheless, it was GOOD, and I mean really, really GOOD! I hope you give it a try while cherries are in season.

 cherry upside down cake

Cherry Upside Down Cake

[print recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 900 g (2 lbs) cherries  + 5-10 cherries for the decoration
  • 5 TBSP sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 TBSP hot water
  • 100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
    • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa (OPTIONAL)
  • 500 ml (about 2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • sugar and vanilla to taste

Also needed:

  • 1 medium cake pan (about 8-9 inch or 20-23 cm)
  • Circular piece of parchment paper, 1 -2 inches larger than the pan circumference.

Method:

  1. Wash and pit the cherries.
  2. Line the cake pan with parchment paper. You should have about 1-2 inches extra which will line the walls of the pan.
  3. Place the cherries on the parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar and vanilla sugar. Paper will keep all the cherry juice from running out of the pan and cake will be nice and moist.
  4. Crack the eggs into the mixer bowl and add 3 TBSP of hot water. Mix at high speed for a minute or two.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla and mix for two more minutes.
  6. Combine flour and baking powder, reduce the mixing speed to slow and add the flour to eggs until just combined.
  7. At this point you can take 1/3 of batter and add 2 TBSP cocoa to it.
  8. Pour the yellow batter onto cherries, then pour the cocoa batter on the top of it and swirl around a bit with a fork.
  9. Bake at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 – 35 minutes. Cool completely and then leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  10. Whip the heavy cream until dense; add sugar and vanilla after your own taste.
  11. Invert the cake onto the serving plate, spread with whipped cream and decorate with fresh cherries.

Bing cherries

Cake preparation
Cake preparation

Cherry upside down cake

Cherry upside down cake

Black Forest Cake or Die Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

A couple of years ago when I visited my homeland Bosnia I brought back a French/International cookbook, which my dad gave to my mom for their first marriage anniversary. So many things were taken out of our home during the war, and I was pleasantly surprised that our book collections were still there! The only thing missing from this book was its shiny photo cover which I remember so well. The cookbook it self has 750 pages full of the most spectacular recipes of French and International cuisine. The cookbook is by Henri-Paul Pellaprat “L’Art culinaire moderne” 1969 edition, and in Croatian translation it is just simply called “The Great Pellaprat”.  I remember as a child going through its pages, looking at all the photos and wondering how would all these amazing meals taste and how is it even possible to make such works of art.

Today was Father’s Day and a perfect day to try and bake something from this amazing cookbook. Out of the hundreds of dessert recipes I chose a familiar one – Black Forest Cake. Familiar, because after we left Bosnia, we lived in Germany’s Black Forest region, our children were born there and it was just an amazing time of learning to live away from home, accepting the life changes and building a better future for our children and us.

Black Forest Cake         Printable recipe

Serves 12-16 people

Cake:

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 8 egg yolks (medium eggs)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) plain bread crumbs
  • 2.1 oz (60 g) blanched, ground almonds
  • 1.7  oz (50 g) dark cocoa
  • 8 egg whites (whipped)

Filling:

  • 14.5 oz (400 g) canned sour cherries
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • About 1 quart (900 ml) heavy cream (whipped) *** Original recipe calls for 600 ml, but that was not nearly enough to frost the cake inside and out and decorate it.
  • Sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3.3 Tablespoons (50 ml) cherry brandy (Original German Kirsch Wasser) *** I substituted Kirsch Wasser with 1 small jar of “Tipsy Cherries
  • 5.2 oz (150 g) semi-sweet chocolate (refrigerated)

Also needed: 25 cm (10 inch) round spring form cake pan + same size parchment paper

Cake preparation:

  1. Heat the oven to 370 F (187 C)
  2. For the cake beat egg yolks, 1 whole egg, sugar and water until foamy.
  3. Add bread crumbs and ground almonds.
  4. Now by hand gently fold in egg whites. Add sifted cocoa at the end.
  5. Pour the batter into the spring form pan and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes.
  6. Cool completely and slice horizontally into 3 equal layers.

Filling preparation:

  1. Heat the sour cherries with juice in a small cooking pot and bring it to boil. Mix 1 tablespoon corn starch with some of the cherry juice and pour into the pot. Let it boil for a few minutes until it thickens. Cool completely.
  2. Whip the heavy cream until firm. Add sugar (after your own taste) and vanilla extract.
  3. Take the bottom cake layer, sprinkle it with some “Tipsy cherries” brandy (or Kirsch Wasser), spread the cherries on the top of it. Spread 1/3 of the whipped cream on it.
  4. Place the second cake layer on the cream, sprinkle with cherry brandy and spread with the second part of the whipped cream.
  5. Sprinkle the third cake layer with some cherry brandy and place it on the top.
  6. Frost the whole cake all around, decorate the top with tipsy cherries and chopped chocolate pieces.
Place the cake in the fridge over night and serve the next day.

Bon Appétit!