I started working at my new firm this week and so far, it’s been pretty intense. I’ve switched from an exclusively criminal law based practice to civil litigation so the learning curve is crazy steep. I don’t know a thing about civil law. I took classes in family law, wills and estate, corporations and the like in law school, but only to help me through the Professional Legal Development Course (the 10 week bar course we’re required to take during articles) and only insofar as my heavily criminal law based course load would allow.
I came home yesterday after my first day, tired and strangely dejected. I don’t have an obsessive compulsive, type-A personality when it comes to my academic and career achievements but still, I hate feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s the worse. I’m well aware that no one expects me to know anything and that it’s going to take a while to figure things out, not only with the law but with how the office operates. I just need to remind myself of this reality.
When I’m stressed, I bake (and eat). I had a bag of cherries that I bought last week creeping slowly towards the rotting stage in my refrigerator. I decided to roast them and add them to my favourite sour cream coffee cake recipe.
Cherry Sour Cream Bundt Cake (adapted from Baking Bite’s amazingly delicious LAUSD Sour Cream Coffee Cake)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cherries, pitted
approximately 3 tablespoons sugar to taste
For the cherries, you can use whatever amount you want. I just happened to have enough to make about 2 cups after pitting the cherries. I spread them out on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and put them into an oven that had been preheated to 350 degrees F. I roasted them approximately 20 minutes. Roasting the cherries deepens their flavour, dries out some of their moisture, and gives them an amazing smooth, silky texture. I highly recommend doing this. I added about 3 tablespoons of sugar to the roasted cherries to sweeten them up (use less if your cherries are sweet enough to being with).
Leave the oven at 350 degrees F. Butter up a bundt pan (or whatever pan you feel like using)
In a medium bowl, sift and whisk together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and airy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. With the mixture on low, blend in half of the flour mixture, then add all of the sour cream. Blend in the remaining flour, stirring only until the batter comes together and no dry streaks remain.
Pour a third of the batter into the pan and spread into an even layer (the batter will be thick). Sprinkle with half of the roasted cherries. Drop another third of the batter in dollops on top of the cherries and carefully spread to cover. Sprinkle the batter with the rest of the cherries and top with the rest of the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer cake to a wire rack to continue cooling.
This cake is amazing. The sour cream cuts through the sweetness and adds a delicious tang. The roasted cherries had the perfect amount of sweetness and a lovely silky texture, making them the perfect companion to the moist, rich cake. It tastes even better the next day, after the flavours have had time to deepen. The Husband brought it to work to feed to his employees and they demolished it, ranting about how moist it was. Granted, those guys will eat just about anything but it’s still gratifying to hear such lavish compliments.