I work up recently with a hankering for a spice cake. I thought about baking one with raisins and walnuts, then I noticed a jar of pitted cherries in the pantry. I had picked it up (cheap) at a nearby specialty shop, that features foods from the Balkans. I go there for caviar (American produced.). The jar was pitted sour cherries. When I picked them up I thought I would make a cherry tart. I decided to drain them and mix them in a spice cake.
Then I made a mistake, I took 8 ounces of butter out of the freezer, instead of 4 ounces. I didn't realize this, until the cake was out of the oven, cooled and served.
Cherry Spice Cake
That you need:
8 ounces of butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 16 ounce jar of pitted sour cherries, drained, reserving the liquid.
Cream together the butter and sugar, with and electric mixer, add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, salt, spices.) I do this by hand. Carefully fold in the drained cherries. Transfer to a well greased baking pan (I used a ring mold.) Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 45 minutes. Invert on a cooling rack, I dusted it with powdered (icing) sugar. The extra butter was an opps- that turned out well. The cake is a little more dense, but extra moist. Can be made with half of the amount of butter - but most things are better with more butter.
Now what to do with the reserved cherry juice. Put it in a glass bottle, with a tight fitting cap. Make a simple sugar syrup by heating 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and a squirt of light corn syrup over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. The corn syrup will prevent the granulated sugar from forming crystals. Cool the sugar syrup to room temperature, add to the cherry juice. Add two cups of Vodka. Store the refrigerator. Can be enjoyed immediately, the flavor will improve if aged for 4 to 6 weeks. The finished product is about 35 or 40 proof.