Saturday, December 21, 2013

Glazed Cherry-Almond Bundt Cake

I’ve often made this moist and delicious cake in the final few days before Christmas - and this year was no exception! I rose early to watch it snow yesterday, glad of the warmth of the fireplace. As I admired the lit trees outside our window, I began to make this recipe. This was what I saw as dawn crept over the tiny village in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where We Live.

Our village is brightly lit for the season!

Everywhere, lights to take the chill ...

From a cold December day!

Glazed Cherry-Almond Bundt Cake:

To Prepare Cake:

2 c. halved red candied cherries
½ c. slivered almonds
2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
⅓ c. milk

Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Stirring by hand, combine cherries, almonds, and ½ c. flour in medium bowl. Set aside. Using electric mixer, cream butter. Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy or until no grainy feeling remains when mixture is rubbed between thumb and forefinger, about 5 min. Stir in extracts, blending well. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition

In separate bowl, combine remaining 1-½ c. flour with baking powder and salt, blending well. Starting and ending with flour, alternate additions of flour mixture and milk to creamed mixture. Stir in floured fruit and nuts. Spoon into greased and floured 12 c. or 3 qt. (3 L) bundt pan. Bake 45-to-50 min. or until cake tests done with a skewer. Cool in pan 10 min. before turning from pan onto wire rack. 

Wrap fully cooled cake in cello covered with a layer of foil. Store in a cool place, allowing to mellow at two or three days before serving. Prepare and decorate with Icing Sugar Glaze on the day you plan to serve this excellent cake.

To Prepare Standard Icing Sugar Glaze:

⅓ c. butter or margarine
2 c. sifted icing sugar (“confectioners” sugar or “powdered” sugar)
1-½ tsp. white vanilla
2-to-4 tbsp. cold water

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in icing sugar and vanilla. Add water, 1 tbsp. at a time, stirring until glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over top and sides of cooled cake.

Note: Or make this fuss-free Basic Icing Sugar Glaze by combining sifted icing sugar with a whisper of light cream to the consistency you desire. Drizzle it over the cake with a squirt bottle or through a funnel.

Flouring fruit and nuts prevents their sinking to cake bottom.

Cream sugar and butter until no grainy feeling remains.

Starting and ending with flour, beat between additions of flour
mixture and milk.. Stir in floured cherries and nuts.

Test with a skewer for doneness.

Cool on rack.

Oops! We forgot to mellow this cake
and were forced to serve it at once!

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