[Inspired by this summer’s collection of horror t.v. shows (Stranger Things) and movies (MidSommar), The Messy Cooker tries her hand at writing a deliciously dreadful opening…]
Yesterday, my good friend “SLDKJFLSDKJF” (remember, from Swimmer’s Seaweed Salad?) came over with a bag bursting with fresh deep-red cherries, so filled with juice they were almost tender to the touch. She asked if I could make a cake with them. Easy enough, I thought. After a few attempts at mixing butters and sugars, flours and powders, I brought out the cherries.
I began to chop the plump fruits in half, immediately causing sanguine syrup to coat my fingers and leak onto my worn wooden cutting board. My eyes darted to my hands, afriad I had cut myself as the sight was so akin to blood. “This will be a nightmare to clean up,” I mumbled aloud. My friend “SLDKJFLSDKJF”, who was sitting in the living room watching the baking festivities, let out a small giggle.
I greedily continued to cut into the cherries, enjoying the feeling of the cool, sharp metal in my hands and the monotonous motion of slicing the flesh-like fruit and ripping out the pits. Slicing and ripping. Slicing and ripping. Until I felt a warm drop land on my bare toe. I looked down to see the pulpy remains of the cherries as they littered my kitchen floor and pools of juice lapping at my feet.
Burning red with embarrassment for my momentary lapse of judgement and the creation of such a gruesome mess, I raced to my friend, who handed my phone to me so I could search for a quick clean-up solution. As I unlocked my screen, I saw an old text message waiting for me. It was from “SLDKJFLSDKJF”.
“Where the hell are you!? I’ve been trying to get ahold of you all day!!”
A coldness shuddered down my spine as I peeled my eyes away from my phone to see my friend “SLDKJFLSDKJF” staring back at me, a sickly sweet smile frozen on her face.
Recipe for Fresh Cherry Crumb Cake
*Source: The Spruce Eat’s recipe for fresh cherry crumb cake
Servings: One pan full of cake. So, either one demon person or eight (if you feel like sharing)
Time: 1 hour prep + 45 minutes bake
Difficulty: Terrifyingly long prep, but surely worth the effort.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh cherries (pitted, coarsely chopped)
- 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, room temperature)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pecans
- Think ahead. If you freeze your butter, make sure to remove two sticks and plop them in your fridge the night before. That’ll save you a LOT of trouble the day of.
- Chop ahead. This takes the longest to do (hence the 1-hour prep), so just get it out of the way. Take all of the pecans and chop them up. Add to a separate bowl. Then, slice each cherry in half (running lengthwise along the pit), then rip open to remove the pits. Chop cherries coarsely. Add cherry bits to a separate bowl.
*Note: here’s a quick guide on how to tell if a cherry is ripe (or not).
- Heat ahead. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease ‘em up. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Beat ‘em up. If you have a mixer, get that out along with its respective mixing bowl. If you don’t, just grab a large bowl and whisk away. Beat together the 6 tablespoons of *room temperature* butter and ¾ cup granulated sugar for about four minutes (or until whipped and fluffy). Slowly beat in eggs, vanilla & almond extracts, and sour cream until they’re evenly combined.
- Stir ‘em up. Grab another bowl (let’s say medium-sized) and combine the 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir!
- Fold ‘em in. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until it’s almost blended. Fold in the cherries.
*Note: not sure what “folding” means? Here’s a quick vid on how to do it.
- Batter up! Add the batter to the pan.
- Be crumby. In another medium-sized bowl, combine the 6 tablespoons of *room temperature* butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ¾ cup flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pecans. Mix with your bare fingers. Then once it’s looking reasonably blended, crumble the mixture over the top of the batter. Cover it completely.
- Get baked. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes. (Watch it rise, it’s pretty cool). It’s done when a toothpick, knife, small monster etc. comes out clean.
Bring your fabulous cherry crumb cake to an end-of-summer BBQ! It’s sure to be a hit. Plus, you won’t be the only one eating the cake (because you will eat it all, given the chance).
Quick Clean Up
Cherries are known to stain everything they touch. This, of course, will make your cutting board look like a battlefield. Here are multiple ways to scrub the stain out of it!
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
David from Schitt’s Creek doesn’t know what folding is. Watch him freak out.
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