Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hangover cake

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.


  1. Sounds delicious, wonder if it'll work with frozen cherries (have a stash in the freezer from summer). Can't wait for cherry season again!

  2. Looks great! My girlfriend is on a cherry kick, I'll have to make this for her.

  3. I am not much of a baker, but I love the equipment. I've been fond of well used baking tins all my life. I keep lego and other stuff in them because I like to enjoy their patina. To the point, I simply leave my porcelain tart dish on the kitchen table and put fruit in it because it is soooo pretty and I am that girly!

  4. Wow, that looks so good. I hope you post the recipe because it looks really good. I applaud you for baking on a Saturday morning after a night at Nopalito! I wouldn't be so industrious on the weekend!

  5. Wonderful story, damn hipsters slowing things down!

  6. health is wealth: thanks, and than you for stopping by!

    shaz: yes, I think the beauty of this cake and the raspberry buttermilk one is that they will work with any fruit fresh or frozen--maybe just be careful the frozen stuff isn't too watery.

    Bob: your gf will love it, and love you.

    Alis: That is cute about the tart pan. It's a good idea too...I might steal it.

    Single Guy Ben: Thank you! I will post it in the coming week.

    egg to the apples: It's my goal to thwart malevolent hipsters from taking over the city.

  7. Hey, I went to Nopalito on Friday, too! Unfortunately, I had no morning cake the day after. I have a bag of cherries I need to use, too...

  8. Hope you're feeling better by now ;) I love simple cakes like this that are absolutely delicious.

  9. Cee: what did you think of Nopalito?

    Esi: Much better, thank you! Yes, these quick cakes are my favorite kind of baking.

  10. would love the recipe. i had such a good time making the raspberry buttermilk cake...would love to try this one too!

  11. DS: I will post the recipe soon!

  12. mmm, i'm LOVING cherries right now--i can't get enough! i'm looking forward to the recipe because that's one fluffy, delicate, and moist-looking cake!

  13. Ok, I need that recipe, please! I also have been on a cherry kick and would love to finish it off with this cake.
    I admire a person that can work thru a hangover.