Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake
Makes 8 to 12 servings
Cherry coffee cakes like this are beloved in Hungary and in the Czech Republic, where they are called bublanina. There, the cherries are usually left unpitted so the stones can add their subtle almond-like flavor to the batter; no one seems to mind spitting out the pits. My version, however, uses pitted cherries and ground almonds in the batter.
1. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat to 375°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, coat with the bread crumbs and tap out the excess.
2. Process the flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until the almonds are very finely chopped, almost a powder; set aside.
3. Beat the butter with a handheld electric mixer on high speed in a medium bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beeat until light in colour and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the yolks, then the vanilla and almond extracts.
4. Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff, shiny peaks. Fold half of the whites into the butter mixture, then fold in half of the almond-flour mixture; repeat with the remaining whites and almond-flour mixture to make a thick batter. Spread evenly in the pan and arrange the cherries in rows in the batter.
5. Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed in the centre, about 35 minutes. Sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Serve warm, or cool completely.
Make ahead: The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature.
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