I found happiness in a paper bag today – a paper bag full to the brim with seductively sweet, juicy cherries from my favourite fruit man, Joe. They were glossy and deep red in colour, and bursting with flavour.
With what was left of the bag-full when I got home – hey, I’m only human – I decided to bake a simple almond-accented, dark chocolate studded, cherry slice.
A light almond, buckwheat and coconut flour cake base puffs up in the oven and serves as the perfect base to catch all the oozy chocolate and sweet, crimson juices of the cherries. It’s moist in the middle, sliceable and a simply smashing afternoon treat.
2 tbsp natural raspberry jam
2 tbsp hazelnut liqueur – such as Frangelico
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted
¾ cup caster sugar
½ cup almonds
½ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup coconut flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1/3 cup organic butter, roughly diced
1 organic free range egg, room temperature
1 organic free range egg yolk, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup dark-bittersweet chocolate chips
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 180C
Prepare a brownie tin by lining it with greaseproof baking paper.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the raspberry jam and hazelnut liqueur for a minute or so, until it has reduced into a syrup. Add the pitted cherries to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until the fruit begins to soften and a thick jammy syrup has formed. Remove from heat and allow the cherry mixture to cool in the pan.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds and sugar until finely ground. Add the flours, baking powder, and salt and pulse again to combine. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks a little like coarse sand. Add the egg and the egg yolk, and vanilla and process mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Pour batter into the prepared tin. Spread the batter evenly to the edges of the tin and smooth the surface as much as you can – I find it helps by dipping your spreading utensil in a little warm water.
Stir the cherry mixture to coat with pan juices and spread evenly over the surface of the batter – making sure to leave a small border around the edge. Dot the top of the cake with the dark chocolate chips. Pop the tin into the oven to bake for approx 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is lovely and golden. Allow to cool in the tin until just warm. Dust with icing sugar, slice and serve with a little dollop of cream or some vanilla bean icecream.