I should not have even considered baking a cake this morning. Last night, feeling froggy because it was friday and actually sort of nice out, we decided to go to Nopalito. We knew it would entail a wait, so we purposely arrived at 6:30, hoping we would only have to fight off the infantile and the geriatric.
Unfortunately, a crowd of hipsters had the same idea. The very charming host told me it would be an hour or maybe more. Well, we'd gotten ourselves down there, found parking, and were already dreaming about the carnitas. We were committed. We snagged the two places at the "bar" (which is not really a bar but a small counter where you can perch awkwardly as you try earnestly not to get in the way of the staff) and settled in. Well over an hour and a steady stream of Tecates and strawberry sangrias later, we were seated. In addition to being a little hopped up on booze, we were pretty hungry. We immediately ordered sturgeon tacos, quesadillas with squash blossoms, carnitas, and enchilada con rajas.
This morning, we should have eaten yogurt for breakfast. But for weeks our oven has been out of commission and we'd finally gotten it fixed. I'd been storing up a list of things I wanted to roast or bake as soon as it was usable, and at the top of the list was Cherry Morning Cake.
This recipe was given to me by my boss, who had it at a bed and breakfast in Ashland, Oregon called The McCall House. She loved it so much that she got the recipe and made me a copy. We got a huge sack of Bing cherries in our produce box this week, and as soon as I saw them I knew what to do with them.
This recipe is very similar in ingredients and style to the raspberry buttermilk cake I made last month. The core difference was that this one calls for milk instead of buttermilk and cherries instead of raspberries. Also, it's baked in a tart pan.
Like most people who like to cook, I have certain tools and utensils that I love and use almost every day (my Globe knife, my Le Creuset dutch oven), and then there are tools I look for reasons to use because I like them so much, like my tart pans. I have two, one a small rectangle and one 10-inch round. I'm not sure why I like these pans so much, I guess just because they guarantee a pretty fluted edge. They can make the most pedestrian desserts look fancy.
The Cherry Morning Cake turned out just as I hoped, light and fluffy. And though it defies logic, somehow having a sweet little cake helped mitigate some of the lingering effects of the Tecates and the sangria. It certainly went excellently with coffee. However, the texture was not so different from a clafoutis, which makes me think that you could easily call it Cherry Evening Cake and serve it with ice cream for dessert.