Friday, May 1, 2009

Tales of a Tiered Cake #3 – Mistake #1

First, I want to reiterate that this series of posts is a work in progress. Recipes should not be used until I finalize and repost the corrected recipes.
So, now I’ll tell you about my first disaster. The marinated cherry filling for my cake requires at least two days and up to 2 weeks to marinate. It's been sitting in my refrigerator waiting for me to have a few consecutive days where I can assembly one of my tiers, and the time finally arrived. My husband and I had tasted the filling and decided that it tasted better if the cherries were chopped a little. I had done these in the processor and they tasted great. I dumped 2 pounds of the drained, marinated cherries into the processor and pulse - processed it in 10 short pulses. What came out was a mush of finely mashed berries - not very pleasant on the tongue. I should have taken a picture, but I was too downhearted to even think about it. Now I have to start over and wait another 2-14 days. This time I’m using half the recipe (enough for the large tier or the two smaller). I thought that maybe I'd like the cherries a little tarter so I reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup. I won’t know until it’s fully marinated whether I’ll like this better. I also cut the cherries into thirds so I won’t have to put them into the processor at all.

In addition, I thought that using tart cherries, instead of the sweet frozen ones, might also be tastier. The tiered golf cake, on the first post of this series, had just such a filling in it, and I don’t know if it is just my memory, but I thought that filling was nicer. We don’t get fresh tart cherries in North Carolina and it’s even hard to find canned ones, but cherry pie filling is easy to get. In that filling I used lime juice, but I opted to use orange juice again, and added dried cherries for a bit more chew.

Here’s the recipe for either the 12-inch tier, or the 9 and 6-inch tiers together:
Tart Cherry Filling4 (21 ounce) cans cherry pie filling
1/4 cup Manischewitz™ Blackberry wine
1/4 orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 ounces bag (about 1 cup) dried cherries

Drain the cherries in a colander, over a bowl, until the cherries still have enough “goo” clinging to them so they are moist and clinging together (you’ll have reduced the weight by half, if you have a scale). Transfer the cherries to a large storage container.
Combine 1 cup of the “goo” with the wine, orange juice and cinnamon in a medium pot. Heat until steaming, remove from the heat, and stir in the dried cherries. Let the cherries steep for 15 minutes, stir them into the drained cherries, cover and refrigerate for a day or two.
I now have enough cherries marinating for the entire tiered cake. Maybe if both batches are good, I’ll use one batch for the chocolate tier and the other for the vanilla tiers!

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