Sour Cherries and Goat Cheese!
Now that sounds like an unusual combination. This morning I was straightening and organizing my pantry and ran across a can of sour cherries that I bought after returning from a trip to Chicago to visit our son and daughter-in-law.
While visiting them this summer, we had dinner one night at Mado. A wonderful little restaurant that uses local farmers for their meats and produce. We enjoyed a fantastic meal and for dessert we ordered the Megas Bark (which I have made) and also their Almond and Cornmeal Cake with sour cherry jam, goat cheese and mascarpone cheese topped with candied almonds.
I love visiting Chicago. There are so many great little restaurants tucked here and there around the city and I am making it my mission to try each and every one of them. I love keeping track of restaurants we enjoy while traveling. After our trip to Italy a few years ago, I did a poster from Snapfish with all our food pictures of meals we enjoyed there. Yes, we are that couple you probably see taking pictures of their plates of food :).
After having the Cornmeal Cake that night, I thought, “I could make that” and I always love a challenge. I may even try baking one in my little wedge cornbread pans the next time I do this recipe.
I made a sour cherry sauce using canned sour cherries and sweetened them a little. The restaurant served their cake with a sour cherry jam spread on the plate. A lot easier if you can find the jam.
I never thought of using cornmeal in a cake. Seems like it meant to be in cornbread, but, I changed my mind after putting one bite of this in my mouth. I think you will agree with me that the texture is great and the mixture of the goat cheese and mascarpone are fantastic.
So, I started my search for a cornmeal cake recipe and came up with several recipes and tweaked them into my recipe here. This isn’t an overly sweet cake and the flavors and textures really compliment each other.
Almond Cornmeal Cake with Sour Cherry Sauce
- 1/2 c. cornmeal
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c. almonds ground
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 c. sour cream
- Mascarpone Goat Cheese Topping recipe follows
- Sour Cherry Sauce recipe follows
Mascarpone Goat Cheese Topping
- 4 oz. Mascarpone cheese
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
Sour Cherry Sauce
- 1 can pitted sour cherries
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare your cake pan by cutting wax paper to fit a 8-9″ cake pan. Grease the pan with a little shortening, put the wax paper in the pan and then grease and flour the pan shaking out all excess flour. Set aside. (I set the pan on the wax paper and using scissors or a knife draw the bottom and then use that as a guide to cut out a circle.)
- Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Finely grind the almonds with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Set aside. Beat the butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in large bowl using an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well blended. Add in the almond extract. Fold in the almonds and the cornmeal/flour mixture, using a gentle folding motion until you have all the dried ingredients folded into the creamed mixture.
- Pour into your prepared pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes and the cake has pulled away from the sides a little and is nice and golden. Test for doneness using cake tester or toothpick. Turn out on rack to cool and when cooled, peel the wax paper off the cake. Cut in wedges. To plate, put some of the sour cherry sauce on the plate, put the cake in the center. Top with a dollop of the mascarpone cheese mixture and sprinkle with a few candied almonds.
For Mascarpone topping: Mix all together until smooth. You can add more goat cheese if you want a little more pronounced flavor of the goat cheese.
For Sour Cherry Sauce: Drain the cherries. Put the juice, cornstarch and sugar in a small saucepan and cook until thickened. Add in the cherries and almond extract. I added a drop or two of red food coloring also to give it a nice red color.
CattknapSeptember 10, 2009 at 6:07 am
What a great recipe. I make a cornmeal cake with rhubarb/strawberry sauce and whipped cream – it really is quite tasty but your recipe sounds more interesting – especially the marscapone cheese :-)…I found your wonderful blog through a mutual friend – Judy Fox – do you remember her?
SherrySeptember 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Of course I remember her. I still make her yeast rolls that I had at her house over 30 years ago. They are still a favorite. Hope you enjoy our site. Just got from Charleston so I want to blog some southern foods next. — Sherry (aka rosemaryandthegoat)
Viviane Bauquet FarreSeptember 11, 2009 at 8:36 pm
I LOVE goat cheese… brilliant idea to make a mascarpone/goat cheese topping – Will definitely try it!