cakes are wonderful. so many flavors to try. almost as many shapes to bake them in. honestly, there is something really special about a tube pan. whether it is baked in the standard angel food pan or a fancy bundt pan, does not matter, either type will work and all of them add a little extra magic to the cake.
bundts and tubes make great cakes for parties, picnics and potlucks. they generally do not need much frosting and slice well. for me, the cakes are the perfect gift to take out to the garden to thank my fellow garden volunteers for helping tend to the beds. they are also a great choice to take to the class each week to share with the interns since slices can be nibbled without the need for a plate or fork. the biggest challenge i face is choosing a flavor each week, sometimes twice in a week.
this week, i chose to pair almond paste and tart cherries. my favorite coffee cake recipe is so versatile that adding almond paste is a great way to make the same cake seem different. this cake recipe uses the same base recipe as the cranberry-orange coffee cake i posted several weeks ago. almond paste is easy to find, it is sold in the baking section of the supermarket, usually near the pie and pastry fillings. the little cans have 8 ounces of almond paste in them and while it seems like a small amount, a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.
ssshhh...the filling is a secret!
beautifully baked-nothing else needed
pink glaze for the top of the cake, add enough juice to make a slightly thin glaze that drips slowly from the spoon rather than running off quickly-a thicker glaze will stay on the cake better than a runny one.
now that's a coffee cake! careful little drizzles prevented it from getting soggy and saturated with glaze.
cherry-frangipan coffee cake
1 (10") tube or bundt cake
serves about 16
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces almond paste
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 (14.5 oz) can tart red cherries, drained well, juice reserved
1 cup powdered sugar
to make the crumb topping, place the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda into the bowl of a food processor. pulse a few times to combine. sprinkle the butter cubes over the top of the mixture and pulse to cut it together. continue to process the mixture until it begins to clump. dump the mixture out of the bowl and set it aside.
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour the tube pan and set it aside. to make the batter, place the butter, almond paste, sugar, and salt into the processor bowl and process until smooth. with the motor running, add the eggs, one at a time and process until mixed. scrape the bowl and pulse a few times to be sure it is combined. dump the batter into a large mixing bowl; the rest of the recipe is combined by hand with a rubber spatula or a large wooden spoon.
place the flour and baking powder into a sifter or a mesh strainer and sift it over the batter. fold the mixture a few times, sprinkle the buttermilk over the batter and fold it together. carefully place half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out so there are not huge gaps and vacant areas-it does not need to be perfectly level. arrange the drained cherries over the batter in the pan and top them with the remaining batter. sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cake and bake until a pick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour. cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes and then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a rack.
to make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. while stirring, add enough of the reserved cherry juice to make a slightly thin glaze that pours off a spoon slowly. drizzle small amounts of the glaze over the cake on the rack-how much you use is up to you, i used the entire amount for this cake.
the cake is best cut when completely cool. to store, keep it covered in a cake container at room temperature up to 2 days. to store in the freezer for up to a month, cut and wrap slices well in plastic and place them in a plastic container or bag before freezing. thaw the slices, still wrapped in plastic, at room temperature.