Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Story About Cherries, Almonds and Do-Overs (Cherry Lemon Ricotta Cake with Lemon Almond Glaze)

Don't you wish there were more opportunities in life for do-overs?
For this month's Leftover's Club, I had a do-over moment. I originally made these Cherry Almond Bars for Kathia from Basic N Delicious. 

Kathia's blog is dedicated to recipes that are delicious and easy to make. While browsing through her blog, I discovered that Kathia loves cherries. This gave me the perfect opportunity to bake something with the over-abundance of fresh cherries I had sitting in my fridge so I decided to make  Cherry Almond Bars. It's a pretty basic recipe using fresh cherries and almond paste. The bars were crazy-delicious, but didn't set up as well as I would have liked so they were very delicate. I was worried they would be delivered to Kathia as a pile of crumbs. Since I was happy with the flavor, I somewhat reluctantly sent the package off to Kathia....

A few days after mailing them, I followed up with Kathia who responded letting me know that the bars were delicious, but I still had this nagging feeling....was she just being polite?
After debating with myself for a few days, I made up my mind that I would redeem myself and send her a second package using a different recipe, but incorporating the same flavors.
Bread is always a good option when shipping baked goods. It can withstand a little manhandling and stays fresh for a longer period of time than most baked goods. There's nothing worse than receiving a pile of crumbs in the mail...ok maybe a pile of stale crumbs...

So, for my July's Leftover's Club do-over, I made Mini Cherry Lemon Ricotta Cakes with a Lemon & Almond Glaze. Yummy!  The ricotta in the batter makes the bread really moist and cherry & almonds are such a perfect combination.


Redemption sure is sweet....
Here's the recipe for the Cherry Lemon Ricotta Cake. I hope you give it a try.  It's so good, you won't "need" a do-over, but you'll definitely want to make it again!

Join in on the fun and receive delicious baked goods in the mail every month by joining The Leftovers Club. You can sign up over at Food Ramblings.

Cherry Ricotta Lemon Cake with Lemon & Almond Glaze
Makes one 9-10" loaf or 6 mini loaves (4.5"-5" mini loaf pans)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups of pitted and sliced cherries (this is the measurement after pitting and slicing)

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (don't skip the toasting process, it makes a big difference in the flavor of the almonds)
Directions:

If using mini loaf pans, lightly spray 6 mini loaf pans, place on a baking sheet and set aside. Note: My mini loaf pans were approx. 4.5-5" long and 2.5" deep. You can use different size pans, but your yield will be different and you'll need to adjust your bake time accordingly.

If using a loaf pan, please make sure it's a large 9-10" loaf pan and that it's pretty deep, not shallow. Loaf pan sizes can vary and if your loaf pan is on the smaller side you might have spill over. Spray your loaf pan, then line with a piece of parchment paper that hangs over the sides for easy removal.

Preheat the oven to 350f

In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy (approx. 2 minutes).

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the eggs and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the ricotta, lemon juice and both extracts. Beat and medium speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to incorporate some of the flour so it doesn't fly all over the place, then beat at low speed just until combined.


Spread half of the batter into the prepared pans. Top with half of the sliced cherries. Top with the remaining batter and then the remaining cherries.

 



Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (approx. 50 minutes for a full loaf, 15-20 minutes for the mini loaves). Note: Bake times may vary as all ovens are different and is also dependent upon pan size. Check for doneness at the beginning of the recommended bake time and continue to check for doneness after that. If you find that your bread is getting too brown but isn't done yet, tent the top with a piece of foil to prevent over browning.




While cakes are cooling, make the glaze

Combine all ingredients (except for the toasted almonds) in a bowl and adjust consistency as needed.

Drizzle over cooled cakes.


14 comments:

  1. I did a bread too this month! You are TOO nice to send two packages :)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Your bread sounds great!!

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  2. This cake looks so fluffy! Yum. Cherry + Lemon is a summer winner.

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    1. Definitely! The cake was super soft and moist : )

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  3. Ha! Looks like we were on the same page with our recipes. Cherries and almonds! A winning combo... great minds think alike!

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  4. Your blog is so cute. I LOVE your header. I think both of these recipes sound wonderful. Almond paste? YUM! The bread looks pretty darn tasty too! I'm sure your partner was excited to have been paired up with you. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Michele. We appreciate the comment!

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  5. How sweet of you to send her TWO treats!! These loaves sound amazing. All of those great flavors together, yum.

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  6. That looks just so fresh and beautiful!! Everyone did great this month. Really awesome recipes.

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  7. I am making this recipe right now! The only thing I can't see is how you apply the glaze. I must assume you let the cakes rest a little while, remove from pans and then put it on? Some glazes are applied while the cake is still inside the pan.

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  8. Oh, wow! I DO see a picture of the glaze application, altho it wasn't stated in the actual recipe that I had printed out. I'm sorry! I can't wait for it to cool off and try! It smells wonderful!

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    1. Thanks for trying the recipe! How did it turn out? I hope you liked it! You are right about the glaze - let the cakes cool for a while then top with the glaze and sprinkle with almonds. I've added this step to the recipe for next time : )

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