I am not a baker. All the intuition and adventurous spirit I have when I cook is totally gone when I bake. I am not familiar and do not understand exactly what happens when I bake. I read and try to understand the chemistry behind it (and theoretically I do), but when it comes to put theory into practice I fail. So I bake rarely and on these rare occasions I stick to the recipe to a t – which impresses my T. a lot, because that is a very rare thing!
There have been some baking endeavors in the past months in the food vagabond kitchen, and one I even tinkered with without failing, so I got courageous. I read Deb’s account of how she tried to ruin the cherry cornmeal upside-down cake from Bon Appetit and still couldn’t, so I decided to try this. I loved the cherry-balsamico-cornmeal combination and was sure I could “improve” the cake.
And improve I did.
Doesn’t it look like a bejeweled crown? And it tastes so moist, with the just-right sweetness, and the mouth-feel is great, too, although I did do something wrong (the egg whites had a teeny dot of yolk drop and refused to be whipped solid as I knew they would, inspite of the old trick – pinch of salt – so I added them to the batter not stiffened, knowing it wouldn’t work, but it did!). Other than this “mistake” I did only one alteration to the original recipe: I added some other delicious stuff to the cherries. I had some dried fruits and shelled, unsalted pistachios from my trip to Istanbul (yes, I will write about it shortly!) and these, after a short bath in some marsala (any sweet wine would do) went into the pan along with the cherries. What a delight they were!
So go out, buy some cherries (they are in season!) and bake this cake. I baked mine on Saturday and by Monday evening it was gone! The two of us had no problems eating this cake for coffee and for dessert for two days.