What’s your favorite thing about Christmas? – Tiny Cherry Almond Cakes
What’s you favorite thing about Christmas? Family together? The presents? Cookies? Turducken? For me the answer would have to be … the cherries!
Yes, here in South America, December is cherry season and since I was a little girl I’ve waited anxiously for the December cherries. They are not cheap, so my mother used to buy only a bag or to, just for Christmas dinner.
I know it sounds silly, but the first time I travelled to Europe it was Summer, and I think I’ve eaten cherries every single day, for a whole month.
For me, this is the perfect Christmas dessert – a little almond cake with a whole cherry inside. For you people in Cherryland, wait for cherry season and please make these, they are delicious and so chic.
Tiny Cherry and Almond Cakes (slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s website) – Makes 30
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
- 1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 large egg whites
- 4 teaspoons kirsch (I use cranberry vodka)
- 30 sweet (Bing) cherries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees/ 180°C. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.
Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in kirsch or vodka. Pour in butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Pour 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight.