Happy Friday from New York City.
How are you lovely people doing? How is life? I’ve been out of action mostly for two reasons the past nine weeks: firstly, I’m traveling around the States and, secondly, I’ve been doing an online course in HTML and CSS aka web design. Have you ever signed on to learn something new and then felt like you are well above your head?
I can’t quite vocalize how little faith I had in my brain to learn this stuff and implement it, but somehow some things have stuck and I can speak the basic language of coding. I finished high school over a decade ago and while I have studied since then, I never went to university so being this immersed in something as tough as this course was terrifying. I’d love to hear how if you have done a part-time course or immersed yourself fully into learning a new trade? What tips would you give to someone thinking of doing this? My tip is that no matter how terrifying it may seem, you’ll do great as long as you don’t let your inadequacy get you down and just keep on.
Meanwhile, cherry season is nearly over and it’s awfully sad, so let’s make this cherry cake with maple buttercream that is subtly sweet and relish the beauty of this ingredient. Truth be told, cherries are incredibly expensive in New Zealand so I never buy them there. Suffice to say my mother would give in and buy one box of them, discounted, maybe once every three summers and because she loved them so much I always felt they were her treat so have only been able to enjoy this fruit in the past three years.
Cherry Cake with Maple Buttercream
200g grams butter, room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cherries, seeded and roughly chopped
3 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
200 grams cold, but not chilled and cubed
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 fresh cherries, to serve
Grease two spring form cake tins with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Place the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat until light and creamy, approximately 1 minute. Add in 1 egg and beat until combined, continue with the remaining eggs.
Add in the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat to combine until creamy.
Sift the flour and baking powder and beat on low until just combined.
Remove the beaters and fold in the cherries.
Pour the cake batter evenly into the cake tins and bake each for 25 minutes or until golden on top.
Remove and allow to cool for five minutes.
Remove and place on a cooling rack.
Once cooled place in the freezer.
Meanwhile, place the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler and whip until light and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Remove and beat the egg whites until the bowl is room temperature.
Add in one cube of butter until it is fully incorporated and continue until all the butter is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Add in the maple syrup and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Place the bottom layer on a plate and spread half the frosting evenly over the top and around the edges.
Add in the top layer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and on the edges.
Top with the cherries, slice and serve.