Cherry Nut Cake With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

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I have been having really good success baking with different whole grain flours lately and I have developed a preference for the unique texture and nutty flavor I get when I incorporate faro, whole wheat, or oat flour into my baked goods. I am constantly saying that I do not consider myself a baker, yet I seem to spend a good deal of time each week baking for our farmhouse guests, or baking sweets to have on hand in our kitchen to offer friends or workmen when they stop by. When I do bake though, I like easy recipes I can pull together quickly and usually my baking includes fresh fruit and/or nuts of some sort. This cherry nut cake is the type of rustic cake I prefer that I can enjoy sliced for breakfast with my morning cappuccino, or can also serve to guests after dinner with a dollop of mascarpone cream. I have made this cake with both fresh and frozen cherries, and the first time I made it I used almonds, while the second time I used hazelnuts. Both types of nuts were very flavorful and paired well with the cherries.

I brought a bottle of amaretto flavor from King Arthur Flour to Italy this trip to use in my baking and included it in this cake. The flavor works really well with the cherries, and adds a subtle sweetness that I find delicious. In place of this flavoring however, you could use almond or vanilla extract. As far as cakes go, this one is a pretty healthy one as it uses only a small amount of natural honey as a sweetener. The cake also includes a small amount of heart healthy olive oil, using Greek yogurt to replace some of the oil which keeps the cake nice and moist. I also used half faro flour in this version which gives the cake a really nice nutty flavor. I used a 9-inch springform pan for the cake shown in the photos, but an 8-inch pan would work well also and give you a little smaller but thicker cake. Although I did toss my cherries with the flour before I mixed them into the batter, they did sink to the bottom of the cake. It isn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it still tastes delicious and since it is a rustic looking cake anyway, I wasn’t overly concerned.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2014

Cherry Nut Cake With Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Farro Flour
  • 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Pitted Cherries, Coarsely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Amaretto, Almond, or Vanilla Extract (See Notes Above)

Topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Farro Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Hazelnuts or Almonds
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar (Or Brown Sugar)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter

Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  • 1/2 Cup Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the two flours, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
Add the cherries to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, honey, yogurt, and extract until well blended.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the topping ingredients into a bowl, and using your fingertips rub the butter into the other ingredients until it is crumbly.
Drop the topping evenly over the batter, then bake until a tester comes out cleanly when inserted into the center, about 35 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes and then remove the sides.
Cool completely.
To make the mascarpone whipped cream, place mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until cream is thickened and smooth.
Serve slices of the cake with a spoonful of the mascarpone cream on top.

Adapted from Cherry Almond Coffee Cake in Honey & Oats cookbook by Jennifer Katzinger