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Cherry Cake for President's Day

February 11, 1988

With the presidential race gathering speed, all manner of background stories on the candidates are appearing in the media. Anecdotes on childhood are nothing new, as the famous story of George Washington and the cherry tree will attest.

The story of his chopping down his father's cherry tree and then admitting it, vouched for his honesty. Whether true or not, cherries and Washington became inseparable.

Here's a cake that pays tribute not only to Washington, but to "Honest" Abe Lincoln as well. It's filled with cherries and topped with a chocolaty sour cream sauce. Serve it on President's Day next Monday or at a reception honoring your favorite candidate in this year's race.

NUTTY CHERRY CAKE

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, separated

2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup maraschino cherry syrup

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

Creamy Fudge Sauce

Cream together butter, sugar, salt and egg yolks. Sift together flour and baking powder. Toss cherries with small amount of flour and set aside.

Combine milk, cherry syrup and almond extract. Add to creamed mixture alternately with flour mixture. Beat well.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter along with almonds and cherries. Pour into greased and floured 2-quart bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack about 30 minutes. Remove from pan onto rack and cool. Pour over Creamy Fudge Sauce. Sprinkle with additional chopped almonds and garnish with whole cherries, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Creamy Fudge Sauce

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/2 square unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons maraschino cherry syrup

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/3 cup sour cream

Melt butter and chocolate in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add cherry syrup, powdered sugar and sour cream, mixing until smooth.

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