|The cherries eventually sink into the batter and disappear.|
Yesterday, Isabel and I went to the farmers' market and bought some Utah Giant cherries ($5 per pound!) that are almost black. You bite into one and it crunches like an apple. I love these cherries so much I would never cook them.
Rather than just throw them to the chickens, I decided to see if the Safeway cherries would improve when baked into a coffee cake and the answer is: YES. I made the cherry-almond coffee cake from Rick Rodgers' Kaffeehaus and it's easy and very tasty. You can use flabby cherries because all cherries, no matter how gorgeous and firm, become flabby after you bake them. Rodgers writes in the headnote that in Hungary and the Czech Republic cooks don't pit the cherries "so the stones can add their subtle almond-like flavor to the batter; no one seems to mind spitting out the pits." Then he goes on to say that his version calls for pitting the cherries. What? I ignored him and didn't pit the cherries and not even Mark complained. If you feel compelled to pit the cherries or if you have beautiful Utah Giants, don't make this cake. This is a cake for mediocre cherries, unpitted. Recipe here.
Back to Indianers, the Austrian cake that somewhat resembles a cream puff. I've made three batches now. The Rick Rodgers recipe from Kaffeehaus calls for baking them in an aebleskiver pan but that didn't work for me -- they shrunk and got stuck -- so I went back to the muffin tin which does. I know they're not authentic Indianers because according to LizA they need to be made in a pan like this. Oh well. I tried brushing apricot glaze inside each cake as Rodgers does (Flo Braker also does this in The Simple Art of Perfect Baking), but I couldn't taste it so I'm skipping the apricot glaze.
|One was my grandmother's, one was my Mom's.|
Indianers, adapted from both The Food of Vienna's Empire and Kaffeehaus
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a 12-cup muffin tin. Sift the flour and cornstarch into a bowl.
2. Beat the egg whites until foamy then, 1 tablespoon at a time, add the sugar, continuing to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
3. Use the same beater to mix the egg yolks with the vanilla just until blended. Now stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolks with a rubber spatula. Pour this yolk mixture over the remaining whites and sprinkle the flour and cornstarch on top of the yolks. Fold the batter gently until no trace of flour remains.
4. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, using an ice cream scoop if you have one. Divide the batter evenly; each cup will be almost full.
5. Bake for 12 minutes until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, run a sharp knife around the edges and lift the cake out of the tin. Cool completely. They will shrivel a bit; don't worry.
6. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it's very thick. Not soft peaks, firm peaks. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
7. Slice the bottom off each Indianer and scoop out the insides. Eat, save, or discard. Fill each shell with cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
8. Heat the cream to a boil, remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted and blended. Put the chilled Indianers on a rack over a cookie sheet, cream side down. Pour the chocolate over the tops of the Indianers. Refrigerate until cold. They keep for at least 3 days.