Saturday, July 26, 2014

Classic German Sunken Sour Cherry Cake

These past weeks I have been revisiting my mother in law's fantastic recipes, my own favorite German foods, and diving into my collection of vintage German cookbooks. 

It's been wonderful and fun speaking a whole other culinary language and makes me miss Germany so. Once again, I realize what a wonderful, rich experience being an expat is. 

This versunkener kirschkuchen or sunken sour cherry cake comes up over and over again in German classic baking books. It was time to stop ignoring it. 

In the ueber fast pace of NYC life, many times I long for Kaffee Kuchenzeit at home with family or spent in a cafe with girlfriends lingering over steaming cups of milchkaffee and delving into delicious German desserts.

As I have stated repeatedly on this blog, German desserts contain significantly less sugar than American ones.  This cake also has almond slivers and shaved chocolate in the batter. I topped it with simple whipped cream and the result is a lovely, filling, sweet-sour flavor.

The minute this cake came out of the oven. my husband insisted I put whipped cream on it. Who am I to ignore his suggestion? He is German, after all.

Classic German Sunken Sour Cherry Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Bake Time: 40 minutes 
Yield: 16 pieces 

For the sunken sour cherry cake:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar beet syrup
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup shaved semisweet chocolate 
  • 24 ounces of whole pitted preserved sour cherries 
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons shaved chocolate 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
  • Grease a 9”x12” baking pan 
  • Drain the sour cherries from the jar and reserve a half cup of the syrup. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and ground cinnamon. Set aside. 
  • Beat the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and beet syrup until creamy. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each in is incorporated into the batter completely before adding the next. 
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  • Fold the almond slivers and shaved chocolate into the mixture. 
  • Add the sour cherry syrup to the batter and fold. 
  • Spread the dough out in the pan and evenly place half of the sour cherries on top, pushing each one down into the batter. 
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, place the remaining cherries in the hollows of sunken cherries on the top of the cake and gently push down. 
  • De-pan the cake and Let cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Cut into squares and plate. 
  • Whip the heavy cream together with the powder sugar. 
  • Use a tablespoon to place a dollop of whipped cream on each square. 
  • Sprinkle the leftover shaved chocolate over the whipped cream on each square and serve.

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