Sweet Cherry - Coffee Cake


18 May -World Baking Day 

I wasn't convinced that orange has a place in this cake. My initial thought was to leave it out completely, then I decided to go half way and keep the zest, and leave the candied oranges out. That also meant that I broke my own rule not to change the recipe before the original was tested and tasted. I am glad I did, and I am glad that I did it half way, creating rule number two along the way - follow you own instincts!

This was a compulsory bake; I found myself home alone last night sitting comfortably reading a book, when the image of this cake popped into my mind. I saw it a while ago and didn't think much of it. So I kept reading and a few pages later I realised that all I was getting from that book was a picture of the cake. The oven went on at midnight and I was heading to the local fruit and veg market first thing in the morning to get some more fresh cherries to arrange for picture taking. 

And to make the whole experience even more peculiar, when I switched the computer on  and  stared browsing the net while waiting for the pictures to download, I realised that the World Baking Day takes place on Sunday 18 May 2014. This is, as it turns out my contribution to the celebration, this cake fought for its place and deserved to jump the queue in the draft box. 

Maybe it wasn't the greatest baking challenge I have ever done, and it that sense not in-keeping with the spirit of the Day, but the fun part of baking through the night  I definitely fulfilled.

Sweet Cherry-Coffee Cake

300g self raising flour
80g melted butter
70g caster sugar
200g ricotta cheese
90 ml natural yoghurt
1 egg yolk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 orange, zest only
1tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp cherry jam
150gr fresh cherries
2 tbsp cornstarch
60 gr ricotta

200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
1tbsp strong instant coffee
2 tbsp warm water

Preheat oven to 180C, mix ricotta, yoghurt, sugar, all but a spoonful of butter and egg yolk until smooth.Add flour, baking powder, orange zest, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda, make smooth dough and roll out into a rectangle about 30x40 cm, then brush it with the remaining butter.
Slice the cherries, pat them dry and coat with cornstarch, spread the jam over the rolled dough, leaving a  couple of centimetres border at the furthest edge, scatter cherries then ricotta over, roll to make a cylinder. Measure the length of you baking dish and adjust the length of your roll accordingly. If you are using a fluted ring, place it cut (end side) side up. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Leave it in the tin for  5 minutes, then take it out and place it on a rack to cool down.
In meanwhile make glaze: whisk the ingredients and drizzle thickly over cake.

- A sidenote from her daughter -
My mother, in all her modesty, appears to have *forgotten* to mention that today, May 18th, World Baking Day, also happens to be a shared celebration, her birthday.
For those of you who venture onto this amazing blog, I'd like to ask you to join me in wishing this amazingly inspiring, yet crazy woman a happy birthday.
Mother, you truly are incredible.
All of my love, pride and joy

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