Showing posts with label cherry reduction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cherry reduction. Show all posts

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.)


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.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pork Roast with Cherry Reduction

This has been quite a winter for a lot of us. I'm still surrounded by snow and ice. It's melting slowly, but I've rarely been so eager to see spring. So, I thought we'd run a little mini contest for these adorable spring cookie cutters that can only mean better weather will be here soon.

These cute cookie cutters are from Wilton. To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment! I'm itching to use the egg, the duck and the tulip. What fun to decorate the cookies!

Check back on March second when the cookie cutter winner will be announced, and Jenn will launch her new book SPRINKLE WITH MURDER, as well as a new contest. One you won't want to miss! Don't forget to enter her Name the Cupcake Contest. Go to her website to enter and you and your cupcake might be the lucky ones to be written into BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF.

And now -- to a recipe!

I love roasts. They're so easy, and once they're in the oven, I can forget about them. I'm of the school of people who prefer to roast meat on high heats. It's my feeling that it seals in the juices and makes for a great roast.

One of the grocery stores where I shop carries very nice pork so I've been experimenting with cuts. My German heritage means I love a good pork roast, but it's not always easy to find a cut that works well in the oven. For what it's worth, in my opinion, you can never go wrong with a tenderloin. They're always the finest, softest cut. However, I don't care for the ones that are sealed in plastic, and enhanced. In my area, it's hard to find a tenderloin that's fresh. A pork sirloin roast, in spite of the tempting name, needs to be cooked for a long time over low heat. It's is an excellent cut for a crock pot dish. On the low setting, it takes about 11 -12 hours to be really soft and fall apart. This time around, the roast I chose was marked "Pork Rib End Chops Boneless" which doesn't even sound like a roast to me. It was a solid piece of meat, though, and I suspect that had it been cut -- the result would have been chops.

I made this dish recently for company, and I'm delighted to say that everyone had seconds. I was tempted to add some seasonings to my Cherry Reduction, but in the end, I opted to keep it simple. Sometimes simple is just better. This is so easy and absolutely fabulous with pork.

Pork Roast

1 pork roast
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Chop the rosemary quite fine. Spread over the roast with your hand. Sprinkle on garlic powder and salt. Rub to spread it and insert roast in oven.

The amount of time your roast needs will vary with the cut and the size. If it's a tenderloin, check it after 20 - 30 minutes. My roast took about 40 minutes. It's best to check the internal temperature of the meat. Pork should be 140 degrees. Let the meat rest for at least five to ten minutes before cutting.

Cherry Reduction

2-3 cups frozen sweet cherries
3/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)

Put everything in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered so the liquid evaporates and thickens, about 45 minutes. Spoon over meat and ENJOY!

~ Krista