I made this cake last Saturday when a friend of mine called me to tell me that she was coming to visit and stay with us for a few days. Of course this was discussed the previous week but she wasn’ t sure when she would be coming. On Saturday I got a last minute warning that she was coming, so I had to get prepared in just a few hours.
Living in a village is not always easy to find all the ingredients you need. I asked my husband to rush to the village’s mini market to buy some butter as I was planning to make a Cherry Cake but unfortunately, they ran out of butter. This is not unusual as during summer this happens quite often. I usually make a list and go to Nafplion (8 km from the village) to shop, but going there just for a couple of things it’s time consuming and considering the cost of fuel, our shopping is confined to a couple of days a week, usually combined with farmers’ market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I usually stock some staples but I try to avoid using butter as much as I can unless I have planned beforehand to bake a cake.
The reason I decided to make the cherry cake, apart from it being delicious, was that I had some frozen cherries in the deep freezer. Now that cherries are still in season and cheap, each time we visit the farmers’ market, I buy more and after washing and pitting them, I put them in zip lock bags, 500 grams / 1.1 lbs each and put them in the deep freezer, to continue enjoying them when they are out of season.
Since I couldn’t make the cake and since I had already defrosted the cherries, I decided to make savoyard biscuits which did not need any butter. However, I was running short of time and instead of piping biscuits, I decided to make it into one big biscuit. I had only 5 eggs, so I adjusted my recipe accordingly. However, you do not have to worry about this and make the recipe with six eggs. I baked the sponge a couple of more minutes and it became crispy outside but still soft inside, just like a savoyard should be. Since in Greece you can get either icing sugar or regular crystal sugar, with nothing in between, I used my electric grinder to grind and sprinkle some on top of the biscuit.
To assemble the cake I used a spring form baking tin. I cut the sponge – biscuit into three pieces. I added the first third and sprinkled a couple of tablespoons homemade cherry liqueur, then half of the cream and 1/3 of the cherries. I added a second layer of sponge, which I wet again with cherry liqueur, the remaining cream, 1/3 of the cherries and topped it with the last sponge. I grated some white chocolate on top and decorated it with the remaining cherries. I then refrigerated it and rushed to Nafplio to bring my friend home.
After lunch, I made some Greek coffee and of course ate some of the cake. At that time I did not have time to takes photos of the cake, so when everyone went to rest, I managed to take a couple of quick shots. The remaining photos were taken the following day after coming back from the beach and enjoying our afternoon coffee.
This impressive cake is easy to make and delicious. If you are afraid to make the biscuit yourself you can still try it with store bought savoyard biscuits and cherry compote. The result will be equally good but making everything from scratch is what I like to do and it is more rewarding when everyone is enjoying one of your own creations.
Cherry Compote Torte, recipe by Ivy
- 1 dose sponge cake
- 1 tbsp ground sugar
- 1/4 cup cherry liqueur
- 500 grams / 1.1 lb pitted cherries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon peel
- 1/4 stick cinnamon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 gelatin leaves
- All the cherry syrup
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp (about 25 – 30 grams corn flour (starch)
- 100 grams white chocolate shavings
- Prepare sponge cake, as per my recipe.
- Put gelatin sheets in a bowl of tap water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Put the water and sugar in a 2 litre pot. Add cinnamon stick and lemon peel and boil for 5 minutes. Add pitted cherries and when it comes to boiling point again, boil for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and remove from the heat. Remove cherries in a strainer and add the gelatin sheets to the syrup and mix until the gelatin dissolves. (At this point I waited for about an hour but it would not set).
- Add the corn flour and milk in the syrup and put back on the heat. Mix until the cream sets.
- Cut the sponge into three slices. Keep the best one to use on top.
- Assemble cake in a 30 x 10 cm / 12 x 4 inches, spring form baking tin.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before removing the spring form.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,