Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 2 hr
Makes 20 miniature cakes.
- for cake
- 4large egg yolks
- 3/4cup granulated sugar
- 2tablespoons milk
- 1/2teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 2large egg whitesfor sugared cherries
- 4teaspoons powdered egg whites
- 1/4cup warm water
- 3/4cup superfine granulated sugar
- 20sweet cherries with stems attached for kirsch cream
- 1/2cup chilled heavy cream
- 1tablespoon kirsch
- 1teaspoon granulated sugarspecial equipment:a 1- to 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
DIRECTIONS Make cake:Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a9-inch square cake pan and line bottom with parchment or wax paper. Butter paper and dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and extract in a large bowluntil combined well, then whisk in flour and salt.
Beat whites with an electric mixerat high speed until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining1/4 cup sugar, mixing at low speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about one third of whites into batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Pour batter into cake pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester comesout clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack.
Make sugared cherries while cake bakes: Whisk together powdered egg whites and warm water in a small bowl until combined well. Put superfine sugar in another small bowl.
Holding 1 cherry by stem, brush evenly with some egg white and spoon sugar over it to coat. Transfer to a rack to dry and coat remaining cherries in same manner.
Make kirsch cream: Beat cream with kirsch and sugar using cleaned beaters until it holdsstiff peaks.
Assemble cakes just before serving: Cut out 20 rounds from cake with cookie cutter and transfer to aplatter. Top each round with a teaspoon of kirsch cream, then top creamwith a cherry.
• Cake rounds (without topping) keep in an airtight container at room temperature1 day.
• Sugared cherries can be made 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.