Cherry, Pistachio and Star Anise Tea Cake

Cherries are in full swing all over the country! I am seeing so many cherry recipes everywhere and I am not going to be left behind! 🙂 I have a few cherry recipes up my sleeve that I will sharing soon with my wonderful readers – YOU! There are so many varieties of cherries available here – the Golden Rainier, Bing, Brooks, Tulare! I recently tried the Golden Rainier and they are seriously soo sweet! I could not stop eating them! Growing up I did not like cherries, but I guess I had not tasted the sweet ones then!

 

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I had made a cherry ice cream with cherry compote, dark chocolate chunks and more cherries, around the same time last year! I had also made dark chocolate, dried cherry cookies, and sandwiched the ice cream between these 2 cookies! It was a seriously divine combination! I never got down to writing the recipe, so I plan to make it again this year and do a blog post about it. Back to this recipe that I made over , the weekend! I simply love tea cakes – I have always loved them since I was a kid! My mom would make different kinds of tea cakes but her specialty was the fruit cake! Tea cakes have less sugar, are a little bit more flexible with ingredients, and they are perfect with a cuppa tea or coffee! They make perfect breakfasts and I love loading them with fruit and nuts!

 

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The Cherry and Pistachio Tea cake is a beautiful cake with pistachio meal, macerated cherries, whole pistachios, and star anise for that liquorish flavor, and more cherries on the top! I made the macerated cherries by heating up brandy and brown sugar until the brown sugar dissolves, and pouring it over a jar of macerated cherries, with a few star anise in it. I stored it in the refrigerator for a week. For the cake, I ground up pistachios, and used it along with the all purpose flour and powdered star anise to make the cake batter. The macerated cherries and whole pistachios are folded into the batter, along with some brandy from the macerated cherry jar.

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After layering the spring foam pan with the batter, the half cut cherries are placed to make a pretty pattern on the top of the cake. I used golden rainiers and bing cherries alternatively to make a pretty pattern.  Into the oven it goes for almost an hour to bake. Once baked, let it cool for 15 minutes, and then remove the spring foam pan. Once completely cooled, you can serve it with whipped cream, with more juice from the macerated cherries, and chopped pistachios! Do not forget the cuppa! 🙂 This cake is so rich in flavor, but yet so light and absolutely delicious! One slice is just not enough!

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Do try this cake while the cherries last! You will want it again and again!  If you do try this recipe, please do tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post below.

 

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Cherry and Pistachio Tea Cake

Ingredients

  • Macerated Cherries:
  • 1 pound pitted Bing Cherries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4-5 star anise
  • 1 1/2 cup brandy or liquer of your choice
  • For the tea cake:
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, ground finely in a food processor, along with 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon star anise seeds, ground into a powder OR 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of star anise powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pistachio extract(you can omit if you do not have it)
  • 15 macerated cherries cut into half
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole roasted pistachios
  • 3-4 tbsp brandy from the macerated cherries
  • 30-40 cherries pitted and cut into half for decoration
  • 2-3 tbsp of turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake before baking.
  • For the whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brandy from the macerated cherries
  • Garnish:
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. For the macerated cherries:
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, add the brandy and the brown sugar, and star anise. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted. In a big jar, add in the pitted cherries. Pour the brandy over the cherries. Close the lid tight and let it cool. Once cooled, refrigerate immediately for atleast a week before opening it.
  3. For the Tea Cake:
  4. Preaheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. In a 9 inch springfoam pan, either use baking spray or butter to coat the pan. Use parchment paper at the bottom of the pan so it is easy to remove later on.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the pistachio flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, star anise powder and whisk to combine.
  7. In the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, whisk the butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add in the sugar and mix at medium speed again for 2 minutes until pale yellow in color. Add in the eggs, one a time, whisking after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and pistachio extract(if you have any), and the brandy. Mix again for a minute.
  8. Add in the dry mixture in 2 parts to the wet mixture and whisk again till well blended. Scrap the sides of the bowl and mix with a spatula.
  9. Now add in the macerated cherries and pistachios and mix to blend well with the spatula. Pour the batter into the pan and layer it well. Smoothen the top to even if out with the spatular or icing spatula. Layer the half cherries in a pretty pattern on the top of the cake. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the cake.
  10. Bake the cake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until golden brown and the tester comes out clean. Wait 15 minutes for it to cool, before removing the spring form pan.
  11. Brush the top with the brandy for extra moisture.
  12. For the whipped cream:
  13. With the heavy cream in a deep medium sized bowl, and using a hand blender, whip the cream for 2 minutes until fluffy. Now add in the powdered sugar, brandy and vanilla extract and whip to mix again for a minute. Your whipped cream is done!
  14. To plate: Add a slice onto a plate, add a dollop of whipped cream on the top and garnish with chopped pistachios!
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