Diana's Cherry Pound Cake
When I think about homemade cakes, I see my mom's rectangular oven trays that she was using every weekend or on special occasions, to make a different layered cake for me and my friends. One time it was Albinita, with honey, semolina cream and jam, another time was Dobos, with chocolate cream and burnt caramel glaze, and other times were cakes named after different friends or colleagues, from whom she had gotten a good tested recipe. These became Elena's cake, Ida's cake, or Mimi's cake, a label that will guarantee their authenticity and worthiness. They were tested and re-tested. They worked 100%.
But besides being a delicious comfort food, cakes bring back lost memories that we were not even aware were still hanging around in our mind, among more recent thoughts, job challenges, family duties and dreams about the next vacation. This is Diana's story, a friend and a colleague who is as passionate about baking as I am and we share not only the joy of baking, but also the joy of remembering and appreciating the little moments in life.
Diana's Cherry Pound Cake
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved summer so much that she was counting the days until June was around the corner again. Summer was not just a season, but a state of mind. At the countryside, the long vacation days seemed to be endless and the fun didn't end until late after sunset. This girl also liked baking.
When you hear baking, you think of a fully equipped kitchen, a hot oven, fancy trays, elaborated ingredients and recipes. But this girl’s workshop was outside, the trays were empty containers and jars from her mom’s kitchen cabinet and the ingredients were soil and water. With only these two ingredients she was making the most incredible cakes which were then decorated with coloured summer flowers, beans, corn or whatever she could find around the house. At the end of a productive day, those cakes were sold to the parents or exchanged for ice cream.
That little girl is me. Time passed and I learned how to equally enjoy every season, and still, summer has an important place in my heart. I don’t know why, but I guess it’s something about the gentle wind on a hot day, the smell of wild summer flowers, the birds singing happily the whole day. And it also has to do with food.
For a foodie, summer has a particular taste. To me, it's the taste of elderflower, new potatoes with sheep's milk cheese (telemea), fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, and... fruit cakes. Maybe I am not climbing the cherry tree to pick the perfectly ripped cherry like I was doing twenty years ago, but I still find joy and pleasure in picking cherries with my own hands or I can buy them from the farmers market.
No matter the occasion, when life gives me cherries, I eat as many as I can, then turn the rest of them into mom’s famous and very easy to make cherry pound cake.
Ingredients for a 20x30 cm Tray
150 g brown sugar
170 g Greek yoghurt
300 g flour
10 g baking powder
50 ml vegetable oil
600 g cherries (without seeds)
A pinch of salt
A tablespoon of vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional)
Lay a baking paper foil on your tray, then turn on the oven at 180°C. Bring eggs to room temperature, then wash the cherries, remove their seeds and place them in a strainer to drain them. Grab an ice-cold drink, it's baking time!
Quick preview, before you go through the steps below.
Separate the eggs. Mix the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form a white foam, then slowly add the sugar, the vanilla extract and mix like there’s no tomorrow until the meringue is done.
Gently mix the yolks with the vegetable oil and then incorporate them into the meringue. Add the Greek yoghurt.
Add the baking powder over the flour, mix and then sift the mixture. Grab a spatula and slowly incorporate the flour mixture in the meringue mixture. Make sure you do it with easy moves, from top to bottom, so you don’t lose the air bubbles formed in the meringue.
Mix ¼ of the cherries in the batter resulted in the previous step, then transfer it into the tray. Add the rest of the cherries on top and put the tray in the oven for 35 minutes.
Step 5 (and the most important one)
Make sure you have enough patience until the cake cools down, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top (optional) then cut it into squares and enjoy it to the fullest until the last crumb (mandatory). Enjoy!
Diana Gliga is 28 and lives in Romania. She works in social media marketing but she's also using it for fun, for her baking projects. Next to work and baking, she enjoys traveling, hiking, arts & crafts and she always says yes to a good book. You can find her on Instagram, @dianaioanagliga, or on Tik Tok, where she recently created a baking account: @bakewithdianagliga.
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