Glossy little cherries have an undeniable appeal at this time of year.
They’re even harder to resist when spotlighted in sweet treats like these “Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets.”
Farm Box is a new start-up by the digital design company, 409 + Co, which was founded by Andreas Winsberg, whose father owns the Bay Area’s Happy Quail Farms, famous for growing the first coveted pimientos de Padron peppers in California.
This specialty produce box can be picked up at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays; or delivered to your door on Saturdays for a $20 fee. Learn more about Farm Box in my post earlier this week.
These delightful cakelets are like muffins turned into individual upside-down cakes.
Muffin tin cups get generously buttered. Then, each cup gets a dollop of brown sugar, followed by a spoonful of chopped fresh cherries. The cake batter that goes overtop is fortified with ground almonds, vanilla extract, and almond extract, as well as more chopped fresh cherries.
As the cakelets bake, the cherries and brown sugar fuse to get all jammy, heightening their sweet taste. After baking, the cakes are inverted so that the fruit is the star on top.
These cute little cakes are moist, tender, and with a winsome texture from the ground nuts. In fact, the ground almonds coupled with the almond extract really amplify the cherry taste.
These are far more special than average muffins, but not much more work to make.
Glorious fruit deserve a fitting tribute. And these cakelets certainly do up fresh cherries in major style.
Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets
3/4 pound fresh cherries
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided use
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) finely ground almonds
Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. Chop them roughly and set them aside.
Generously butter the wells of a 12-cup standard muffin tin (non-stick if you have it) with 1/4 cup of the butter. This is not the time to gingerly dab butter on the tin; really slather it on there! Coat the bottom really well, and be sure to get it up the sides, too.
Divide the brown sugar evenly into each well, using 1 packed teaspoon per well. Spread the sugar out to cover the well-buttered bottom.
Distribute a heaping tablespoon of cherries into each well, again spreading the fruit out to cover the sugar. Set the tin aside and reserve the excess cherries, which should end up being about 1/2 cup.
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set it aside.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mix in the extracts.
Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture, combining thoroughly. Fold in the ground almonds and remaining cherries by hand. Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the muffin tin. Spread the batter to cover the fruit evenly (a small, offset spatula works really well for this).
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pan 10 minutes into cooking. Cakes are done when they are lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan or until they are cool enough to handle. They should still be a on the warm side so they’ll be easier to remove from the pan. Remove the cakes one at time using a thin knife or offset spatula to gently wedge them out. If any of the cherry mixture sticks to the pan, carefully scoop it out and spread it back onto the cake. But you used tons of butter to grease the pan, so that probably won’t happen.
Allow cakes to cool before serving.
From VVVanessa via Food52
Another Dish Inspired By My Farm Box Delivery: Stir-Fry Udon Noodles with Eggplant, Portobello Mushrooms, Thai Basil, and Celery Leaves
More Recipes For Fresh Cherries: Cherry Snow Cones