When cherries were on sale a week ago, I bought a big bag and placed it in the fridge and forgot about it. I found the bag this past weekend and knew that Bambino and I wouldn't be able to finish it before it goes bad. (Hubby isn't the biggest fan of eating fresh fruit on its own) Often times when I have an excess of fruit I will search recipes to make either a cake, bread or cookies with the fruit. After much searching, I found a recipe for cherry cake. (It was surprisingly hard to find a recipe that was for fresh cherries and not maraschino cherries)
Upon reading the recipe, I decided to alter it a bit to make it more healthy. By reducing the eggs and oil, and using fat free milk, it thickened the batter turning it more into a bread rather than a cake. I also added chocolate chips and pecans to it to make it a tad more tasty.
The bread was a big hit! Bambino didn't want any dinner, only the bread. That can be blamed on me. I gave her a bite of the bread fresh out of the oven right before dinner, so of course that's all she wanted!
1 cup fresh cherries pitted and cut into small pieces (yes, this takes some time to do!)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I never use butter when I bake, always vegetable oil. It's a little healthier)
1/3 cup milk (I used fat-free Lactaid milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon (Use a grater to grate the skin. You only want the yellow part, the white part is very bitter, stay away!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 crushed pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together egg and sugar until thick and lemon colored. Add the oil, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and mix. (You can use a mixer for this, but I did not) Add the flour mixture and stir. At this point the batter will be very thick. Fold in cherries, chocolate chips and pecans. (I mixed in each one before adding the next).
Grease your baking dish (I always use PAM cooking spray). I used a loaf pan, but you can easily use a bundt pan or even make muffins out of this. Just know that the type of pan used will vary your baking time.
The recipe states to bake for a total of 35 minutes. I baked the bread for 35 minutes at 400 degrees and saw that the outside was deep brown, but it was still batter on the inside. I decreased the temperature to 350 degrees and baked for another ten minutes. Keep an eye on it while baking. You should be able to stick a knife into the bread and it come out clean. If there is batter on the knife, it needs to bake longer.
Amateur cooking difficulty scale: 5
This is a pretty straightforward dish, but when you make a dessert, when you change the ingredients, it can greatly alter the end result (as seen with my bread as oppose to cake) and you cannot go back and change it like you can with a savory dish. This is what gives it a higher ranking.
Good stuff, will definitely make again!