Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet n' Sour

I’m hard pressed to think of a relationship more tumultuous than that between a mother and her daughter. While there is undeniable love and affection and genuine care for the health and happiness of each other, it doesn’t always translate into the pink hearts and fluffy bunnies you see on the Mother’s Day cards. My mom, my sister and I are prime examples of this – every so often we get into a real battle and believe that she’s the Devil, but then you have the golf (or mini-golf) games, the trips to the movies and the drool sessions over Jensen Ackles on Supernatural. Those are the times when the generation gap, the social differences, our views regarding our stepfamily or house situation – none of those matter anymore. We are simply a group of friends sharing a moment, with an intense bond that lasts well after the final credits roll or putt is made.

This mother’s day went unmarked by a card or bouquet of flowers from my sister and I – she was off fishing the day before and I simply forgot until the day of. Mom on the other hand, had invited her parents to our house for dinner. But she hadn’t planned anything other than a homemade quiche, and sensing a lack of “dessertyness” I felt that I should at least do something for the occasion. While my mom and stepdad went out to brunch (in my opinion a clever ploy to get her to tag along to his family’s mausoleum since that was his intended destination) I jumped at the chance of a free, mostly clean kitchen and quickly whipped up this cake with what I had hanging around without much of a pre-thought as to what I would make. I knew. I had cherries from last year as well as a bag from MacMillans in the freezer, and the end of a block of butter in the fridge. Since I was trying to go for a lighter feel for the dessert (being Spring and all – finally!) I wanted to really drive home a citrusy flair with the little pops of cherries throughout. We always have lemons in the house... except, for some reason, that day (I found out later they made a huge jug of ice water and used all three of my lemons in it. Boo). So I resorted to bottled lemon juice and lemon extract, but next time I am definitely going to add the zest of every lemon I have – it’s my favourite combination and you can’t go wrong when you add a bit of butter to the mix too.

To keep the sugar levels down a bit, I both took out some of the total sweetness (we don’t like our sweets too sweet) and for the diabetics in the house I added a little stevia and white whole wheat flour too (but don’t tell them!). It took a long time to bake, but it was so worth it in the end because everyone enjoyed it and my mom was so surprised that I would take a few hours away from my term papers to do something for her on her day.

But really, come on. This woman gave birth to me, has been doctor, tailor, chauffeur, bank, therapist and so much more over the years for my sister and I – what on earth wouldn’t I do for her?
Cherry - Lemon Divot Cake
I had the idea to stick the label “divot” instead of “crater” for this cake as a hearkening of our golf games, which have more than their share!
Serves 12
½ cup flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
½ tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp stevia extract
¼ cup melted butter
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
½ tbsp lemon extract (or zest of 3 lemons, or whatever!)
1 tbsp lemon juice
10 oz fresh or frozen pitted cherries

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, grease a 9" cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Beat the eggs, sugar and stevia until thick.
  4. Add the melted butter, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice and beat just until incorporated.
  5. Add the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  6. Gently fold in the cherries.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 35 minutes, then cover with foil and bake 25 minutes more.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before turning out.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 163.3
Total Fat: 7.4 g
Cholesterol: 41.3 mg
Sodium: 46.6 mg
Total Carbs: 21.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Protein: 3.8 g