Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life is a Bowl of Cherries Pound Cake

"Life is a Bowl of Cherries" is a phrase I've heard since I was little.  After some research, I discovered the phrase came out during the depression, something my parents grew up in, and came to signify how you could look at life.  Of all the songs that have this phrase in it, I have chosen the one by Doris Day, who is one of my favorite singer/actresses for you to listen to.  (Admittedly, I have watched "The Man Who Knew Too Much" about a million times and never tire of her or Jimmy Stewart...my favorite actor.)

When I was in the market yesterday, I saw, what I relate to as Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest--CHERRIES!  Oh, we've have daffodils bloom in early March, deciduous trees have their leaves, and I hear the geese on our pond, nesting, but it's the sight of this gorgeous red fruit that lets me know we can finally say goodbye to Winter.

It will be a few more weeks before the crops are abundant enough to lower prices (for jams and freezing) but I couldn't help myself with creating one of my favorite desserts...Pound Cake.  I added in some bittersweet chocolate chips for all of you who especially, like my friend Addie, loves Black Forest Cake.  They're optional, but I think you will enjoy the combination.  I also added in the vanilla paste from two whole beans and some orange zest.  Thanks to my daughter Erin, I have a new gadget she gave me for Mother's Day to zest with that I couldn't wait to try.
Erin & Maddie on Mother's Day!
This fruit, this phrase, and even this song, is my view on life and what I make of it.  It's been a sad year after losing Kelly, but to let that loss change my whole attitude would be a disservice to her memory.  I've had so many people, over the last few days remind me of her incredible big heart and loving ways, and the fact that her last words were, "I'm Happy," will enforce my outlook on what I need to accomplish and yes, with a smile on my face.

Life is a Bowl of Cherries Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar ( I use Baker's Sugar which is superfine)
6 large eggs
2 Vanilla Beans, split and scraped
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1/2 tsp. Washington Cherry Flavoring
zest of 1 orange
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups King Arthur All-purpose Flour
1 cup sour cream (not light)
1 1/2 cups chopped cherries (measure after chopping)
1 cup Bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup Toasted pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar, 1 cup at time, beating well to incorporate after each addition.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla bean paste, almond extract, cherry flavoring, and zest.
a new little zester from Erin that captures the zest perfectly!

Beat well.  Add the dry ingredients, alternating them with the sour cream.  Beat for 1 minute to thoroughly combine.  

Fold in the chopped cherries, bittersweet chips, and nuts, if using.  Spoon batter, evenly into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake in the slow oven for  75 minutes or until a toothpick, poked in the center of the cake, comes out cleanly.  Let cool about 7-10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving dish.
Glaze: I mixed up 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon light Karo syrup, and 2-3 tablespoons of very hot water.  Pour over the cake. 
You can also, just sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or mix up a Chocolate Glaze: 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated just until it boils, then, pour over 3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate.

As humans, we have choices--glass half full or glass half empty.  In "Life is a Bowl of Cherries" you could look at it sarcastically, as some did during the depression, or joyfully when you experience a win fall.  Cherish the everyday events of your life that make it a bowl full of cherries.  It's these memories that make me happy. Enjoy!



  1. Nice philosophy and delicious cake.
    I showed maddie our picture and she pointed to herself "who's that"
    I said what do you mean, you tell me! Then she said "that's Madison"
    Funny how she doesn't say "that's me"

  2. It one of my favorite photos of my girls! Wish you were here to taste the cake...I know Madison probably wouldn't eat it, but maybe for Mimi she'd take one bite :-D! XOXO

  3. I bet for Mimi that little Maddie would taste anything!