Baby cherry cakes
Following on from the last post, morello cherries are still available! You just have to find a pick your own orchard. There are a few farms on the Mornington Peninsula, we went to Ellisfield Farm (109 McIlroys Rd Red Hill, ph 5989 2008). The sour cherries there are around during January, and there were masses of them on the trees when we went there last Sunday. They are $7 a kilo if you pick your own, or $10 if you buy them prepicked.
Information for the uninitiated: the farm supplies buckets, a full bucket is around 4 1/2 kg, and we noticed some european families (who knew what they were doing) equiped with small shears to facilitate the easy removal of cherries from the tree. The cherries pull off the stalk very easily, but then of course they don't last very long - you'll need to process them straight away. With a bit of stalk you can keep the cherry in the 'fridge for a week or so.
So we came away with 9 kgs. Whoops. So since Sunday we have made jam, frozen cherries, made preserves and cherry cake. I've adapted a favourite plum cake and used a small silicon muffin tin (as the cake mix is very sticky). The result is a little bit crunchy, a little bit chewy and a bit cakey. The small girl loved them - except for the morello cherry! Maybe next time with sweet cherries. This quantity makes 7.
1/4 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (sift together with flour)
2 tbs of milk
7 or 8 cherries, stoned
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then mix in the flour and baking powder. Add enought milk to make a soft dough. Spoon mix into muffin tins (maybe no more than 3/4 full - they are prone to spreading alot). Make an indentation and insert stoned cherry.
Bake at 170 degrees C for about 30 minutes or until they are starting to brown. Turn out immediately from tray (so they don't get soggy). Beware they are very fragile until cooled down.