The holiday season demands champagne. The two seem to go together perfectly. When you hear that cork pop, it’s like permission is being granted to have fun. When we want to honor someone, we raise our glasses with a “champagne toast.” It’s the drink of celebrations, and by combining fresh cherries and Chambord liqueur, this Chambord Cherry Cake enhances it wonderfully.
After the first time I sampled Krug at a celebration, I was hooked. Suddenly, the champagne world seemed a whole lot better! I can vividly recall the sweet, sparkly, smokiness in every drop. It was like I was being let into another world–a world with a high price tag! Then, a trip to Paris in my early thirties introduced me to the champagne cocktail. An aperitif was the only way to arouse the senses before a full French degustation. The Kir Royale was a must before dinner. Creme de cassis, or blackcurrant liqueur to the rest of us, added a whole new discovery to my taste buds. However, it was at another celebration many years later that a friend introduced me to Chambord with champagne or a Kir Imperial.
Chambord is intoxicating. From it’s dark, rich, red colour to its heady, lightly perfumed aroma, there is something about this raspberry liqueur that I find irresistible. Apart from adding a small amount to my champagne, I also like to experiment in the kitchen with it. So with the holiday season upon us, consider making this buttery cake flavoured with Chambord and macerated fresh cherries. I’ve even managed to make a Chambord glaze to top it all off. Serve this cake with a Kir Imperial, and I think your holidays will be even sweeter.
Chambord Cherry Cake
1/4 cup (60 ml) Chambord liqueur
2.5 oz (70 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
3.5 oz (100 grams) brown sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) powdered sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 180 deg C and line an 8” springform cake pan with baking paper.
2. Place the cherries and Chambord in a non-reactive pot and heat over a medium heat until the cherries soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove, set aside and allow to cool.
3. Combine the almond meal, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it becomes pale and creamy.
5. Turn the speed down to low and add the eggs one at a time, ensuring they are well incorporated. Add 2 tbsp of the Chambord liqueur and mix well.
6. Slowly add the almond meal mixture, spoonful by spoonful, until it becomes fully incorporated and you end up with a batter.
7. Spoon the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top with a knife. Drain the cherries and place 150 grams (approx 20 cherries) on top of the batter in an even pattern.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top has browned and the a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool.
9. Combine the powdered sugar and 4 tsp of the Chambord liqueur until a paste forms.
10. Drizzle the glaze over the cake, decorate with the remaining cherries and dust with a little bit of extra powdered sugar. Serve with champagne.
Yield: 1 cocktail
Glassware: Champagne flute
1. Pour the Chambord into a chilled champagne flute and top with champagne.
2. Serve immediately.