I work at a non-profit bakery. We teach job skills to 'at risk youth.' They come in 15-20 hours a week for three months, work on getting their GED and then we send them off with a tearful goodbye. It's incredibly rewarding and sad (the chicks always leave the roost). I love mentoring these kids and hearing their INSANE stories. Holy crap. (Hi God? If I haven't said it 12,000 times already today, thank you for the fact that I was raised by my great parents in a safe community where there are better life choices than these three: gangbanger, drug dealer and crackhead).
Anyway, I love these kids. I really do. And for whatever reason, they talk to me. I think they like talking because that means I'm not singing and dancing at them like a giant nerd to Rhianna, Katy Perry, Usher... all the tragically overplayed Top 40 hits they make me listen to. Here's an interaction with a youth we'll call 'David.'
Me: *singing* "Cause David
David: "Mandi, you don't go out to the clubs like that, do you?"
Me: "Who needs clubs when I've got YOU!?"
It's a lot of fun for them, I'm sure of it!!??
Anyway, one of my youth said he had never had a homemade pie. He's Mexican so all of the desserts he grew up with are things like 'flan,' etc. But never a pie. Travesty.
Me: "What kind of pie do you want to try?"
Youth: "I really like cherries."
Me: "Tell you what, you bring me cherries-- I'll make you a pie."
(A very exciting exchange).
Surprisingly, though, he actually brought them in! He had gone to Trader Joe's and bought some dark morello cherries in a jar.
I made him a pie and my youth's small heart grew three sizes that day. *tears*
BUT! The reason why I'm tapping away on this keyboard is because there was an entire two cups of cherry juice leftover. I found this wildly fascinating. Surely, SOMETHING could be done with this... I figured I'd see if I could make a cherry almond cake. TOTALLY decided to wing a recipe.
But first, you'll never believe what happened!!!?? Some cherry juice accidentally fell into some vodka and soda water. THAT was a MAJOR WIN. *hiccup* After a bit of 'Cocktail Time with Sandra Lee', I finished the batter. It looked like this.
(Remind me to ask Falcor if the Rockbiter's hungry...)
2 3/4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c. oil
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp almond extract
1 c. cherry juice
1-2 T red food coloring
CHERRY SUGAR WATER INGREDIENTS:
1/2- 3/4 c. cherry juice
1/2-3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 cup cherries
1 T. cornstarch
1/4-1/2 (to taste) c. sugar
Put all of the cake ingredients in a mixer for five minutes. Don't forget the food coloring so it looks a little bit less 'trip to the dentist.' Fill two 9 or 10 inch. cake pans. Bake at 350 30-40 minutes (?) Until a toothpick comes out clean, yo! Set aside & let cool completely.
Whisk together the ingredients for the Cherry Sugar Water in a small saucepan and boil the mixture down by about a third. You want to cook out the water and dissolve the sugar. Once the cake is cool, you can brush the sugar water over the cake. It keeps it super moist & adds even more cherry flavor! (See what I did there, V? IN YOUR FACE! WHO NEEDS MORE CHERRY NOW, BIOTCH!??)
Then, in a mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the almond extract & powdered sugar. Frost your first layer of cake. Press cherries into the whipped cream frosting.
Add the next cake layer on top. Brush again with the sugar water. Cover the cake in the whipped cream frosting and put in the fridge to solidify a bit.
In another saucepan, stew the topping ingredients together. Break up the cherries as they get softer and you'll start to notice it thicken 'real nice like.' Let cool completely.
Finally, press almonds into the sides of the cake and scoop the cherry topping onto the cake.
THEN EAT THE DAD BLASTED THING!!!! :) :) :)
It's reeeeally nice, you guys. Super moist & delicious! And this is one of those cakes that gets even better when it sits because all of the liquid and the flavors meld together like heaven.
'Dirty, Rotten, Filthy, Stinkin'!!! (Who can get that without googling is what I want to know!), :)