I had a Christmas get-together this weekend and made 120 Dutch Cherry Cake and 4 Hot Cocoa for All. Both were successful and well liked by all (or at least that’s what they told me).
Here’s the Dutch Cherry Cake cake:
Admittedly, I’ve taken some bad food photography but this one might take the cake (hardy har har). Ignore that. The cake base was delightfully light and the flavors of cinnamon and the touch of almond extract really make the cherry flavor pop! I served it warm (perfect for winter) and everyone went back for more. I fought off the hoard and managed to save some for the next day (purely for science, of course, since Meta also says that it can be served cold; I concur). My only criticism is that I wish there would have been more cherries because they were so tasty!
I forgot to take a picture of 4, Hot Cocoa for All, but use your imagination. It looked exactly like hot cocoa. It had a very strong cocoa flavor that I quite enjoyed. My first thought was that it was nice not to have the little floaty bits of undissolved packet mix. Sad. This is a bit more work, but it’s cheaper and gets in a milk serving. The “for all” bit is because Meta suggest watering down the adult version with extra milk for the kiddies. The kiddies in attendance liked their milky version, so who am I to argue?
120 Dutch Cherry Cake
2 cups AP flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, yolk and whites separated
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. melted butter
1 No. 2 can unsweetened red cherries (2 15-oz cans or one 30 oz. jar of tart or pie cherries in water), divided (use 1 c. of drained cherries in the cake and save all of the drained liquid)
3 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
reserved juice and remaining cherries
1 TBSP cornstarch
3 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP boiling water
1 TBSP butter
1/8 tsp almond extract
1) Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a 7 1/2 by 11 by 1/ 1/2 inch pan liberally with cooking spray (or you can use a 9×13 but decrease the baking time). Meta directs you to sift (3 times) the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. I suggest that using modern flour, you measure correctly (stir flour in container, spoon into the measuring cup and level off with a spatula) and then stir the dry ingredients well to distribute.
2) In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and add milk and melted butter. In a third bowl, beat the whites until stiff. In yet another small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.
3) Mix the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the egg whites and 1 c. of drained cherries. Spread in the baking dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for about 35 minutes.
4) While it is baking, heat the drained cherry juice to boiling. Mix the cornstarch, sugar and boiling water into a paste and add to the cherry juice until it returns to a boil and thickens. Add the salt, butter, almond extract and remaining cherries and heat until warm. Pour over the cake. I recommend hot, but it can also be served cold. Meta recommends serving with whipped cream (she is a genius).
4 Hot or Chilled Cocoa for All
3 1/2 TBSP cocoa
1/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp slat
1 1/4 c. boiling water
5 c. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
1) Blend the cocoa, salt, sugar and water together in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. (It’ll look like Hershey’s syrup at this point, but no sticking your finger in….it’s boiling).
2) Add 3 cups of milk (Meta suggest that you scald it, but good news! if you live in American it’s already been pasteurized, so no need). Heat until just before it begins to boil. Remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp vanilla. Serve the adults full-strength cups. Add the remaining milk and heat through. Remove and add other 1/4 tsp of vanilla. Serve the kids.
I didn’t try it, but Meta also suggest serving it chilled.