On December 9, 1931 my Grandfather was born. I was lucky of enough to be able to spend his 85th birthday with him. He is hands down one of the most interesting people I have ever met. His life has been an adventure, listening to him speak about polar bears, tropical island, military stories, and family antics is like reading a bestseller book. My husband and I have joked many times that we should write his autobiography and make it on NY's Bestellers, like a "Tuesdays WIth Morrie" type of book.
When my grandmother asked me to create a cake for him, I was honored and conflicted. I wanted my grandfather to get a cake that he deserves, but he had dietary restrictions. Due to his diabetes and old age. I know that he loves plums and figs! I had somewhere to start. However, here in Arizona we do not sell plum and figs since they are not in season. So I was racking my brain on what I can make for him. I decided on using cherries. I then substituted agave in another recipe of mine for the sugar.
Agave Sweet Cake with Fruit Topping
¾ C Vegetable Shortening
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
¾ C Agave
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 C Whole Milk
3 C All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon
½ C Agave
Fruit of your choice*
Pistachios, roughly chopped**
*You can use any fresh fruit that you desire, I would recommend the stone fruit family, Pears, Apples, and Figs. For this cake I could only find Bing Cherries (stone family) in season at my local grocery store.
**This is for garnish purposes
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease one 9in baking pan.
2. In a large bowl or a standing mixture combine shortening, baking soda, baking powder, salt, Agave, and vanilla.
3. One at a time add eggs beat until the batter looks light and fluffy.
4. Slowly add milk and flour in alternating. Try not to overbeat.
5. Pour batter into your greased pan.
6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake passes the toothpick test.
7. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.
1. Wash your fruit and cut them the way you want them to look on top of the cake. (for my cherries I just cake in half and depitted them, for bigger fruit I would cut them length wise into slices)
2. In a pan/pot melt butter, lemon juice and agave until it starts to bubble.
3. Add your fruit and cook for an extra 3 to 5 minutes so that the natural fruit juices can be released.
Assembly of Cake:
1. With a serrated knife cut of the top of the cake to make a even surface, about 1/8 in.
2. Using a toothpick or fork poke holes all over the top
3. Spoon fruit mixture on top of the cake.
4. Take the pistachios and sprinkle around the rim for garnish (think Christmas wreath)