Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Cherry Sponge Cakes

At my house, special days like Mother's Day call for cake. When I asked my mom what she would like for her Mother's Day dinner, I thought she would want a cake. Wrong! She asked for her favorite potatoes -- hash browns!


I was happy to oblige. But I still needed a dessert. The problem is that sometimes there just aren't enough people around to eat a whole cake.

So this time, I made a little twist on a Strawberry Shortcake -- Cherry Sponge Cake! Instead of baking an entire sponge cake, I piped little rounds of sponge cake batter and baked them. Then I topped them off with a cherry reduction and whipped cream. Mom was thrilled.

If you're in a terrible rush (who isn't?), you could probably get away with slices of a ready made frozen pound cake topped with thawed cherries and whipped cream. However, I have to say that the cherry reduction packed a punch of flavor. If you have never tried a reduction, don't be afraid. It's just a matter of cooking down the liquid so that the flavor intensifies. It's really easy!

You'll notice that there is no sugar in the whipped cream and very little sugar in the sponge cakes. The cherries were wonderfully sweet and more sugar wasn't necessary. However, if you try this without making the cherry reduction, you might want to sweeten the whipped cream.

Mini Sponge Cakes

2 eggs
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons flour
3 heaped tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar.


Beat the egg whites until they hold a soft peak, adding 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of sugar when they begin to take shape.


Pour the egg whites on top of the egg yolks.


Mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a small bowl. Using a sieve or a flour sifter, sprinkle the mixture on top of the egg whites. Fold everything together gently. (Do not use a machine for this! Do not beat or stir.)


Pipe the batter onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper in 2 to 3 inch rounds. (You can skip this step and spoon the batter onto the parchment paper, smoothing it with the back of the spoon. It's not as pretty or uniform -- see below -- but once everything is assembled, no one will know the difference.)

Bake at 350 (note that you're lowering the temperature!) for 6-8 minutes or until they have baked through and are golden. If they're sticky to the touch, they need to bake a minute or two longer.



Cherry Reduction

1 bag frozen cherries
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

Pour all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat immediately and let simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. (Note, brandy or a liquor could be substituted for part of the water.)

Assembly

Place one sponge cake round on a plate upside down. Spoon cherries and liquid on top of it. Spoon whipped cream over top of the cherries. Top each with one cherry.



Enjoy!


18 comments:

  1. Krista--Oh my goodness. This just looks WAY too good. And the cherry reduction doesn't look hard at all! I could have one of these little cakes for breakfast right now. :)

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  2. Oh my, hash browns AND cherry sponge cakes! You're truly a woman after my own heart, Krista! Hope your mom enjoyed the treat!

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  3. Elizabeth, I would love to send one to you for breakfast! And you're right about reductions, they're so easy and the intensity of flavors is just amazing.

    ~ Krista

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  4. Lynn, my mom loved her special dinner. I think it was a tie between the potatoes and the cherry sponge cakes. (Shh, she had seconds of the cherry sponge cake . . .)

    ~ Krista

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  5. Krista, you are a culinary genius - and it's always the simple ideas that turn out to be the best, isn't it? This is great - beautiful, elegant, easy, and delicious - what more could anyone ask??

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  6. These are so pretty, Krista! Thanks for a new twist on a favorite.

    What a lucky mother you have.

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  7. Mary Jane, I think I'm the lucky one to have such a lovely mother. : )

    ~ Krista

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  8. These little cakes are gorgeous! I really like the versatility of this recipe, too. The piping idea is brilliant and the cherry reduction looks easy and delicious. Great post and Happy Mother’s Day Monday to your mom!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

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  9. What pretty desserts! What fun. And to follow hash browns. Perfect!

    ~Avery AveryAames.com

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  10. Cleo, you'll love the reduction. It's so easy and the flavor is well worth the little bit of extra effort. Thanks, will pass along your Mother's Day wishes!

    ~ Krista

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  11. Isn't is funny, Avery? Hash browns! of all the things she could have requested. Of course, those crispy potatoes are yummy!

    ~ Krista

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  12. These are lovely bites of deliciousness.

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  13. Thanks, Comfy Cook. I think I need to concentrate more on lovely little bites of things.

    ~ Krista

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  14. How beautiful, Krista! Your lucky mom to have you! I haven't tried a reduction, but now I'm inspired!

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  15. Thanks, Julie! Reductions are incredibly easy. I hope you'll try one.

    ~ Krista

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  16. What amazing recipes you have!

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  17. There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.

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  18. Thanks, Gloria!

    Gluten free sponge cake, be sure to check Mystery Lover's Kitchen on Fridays when Avery Aames posts. She lives gluten free and offers a lot of gluten free recipes.

    ~ Krista

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