Tender almond cake with cherry almond compote, buttermilk whipped cream and toasted almonds.
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally while the cherries start to softed, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Place the mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse a couple times. You don't want to blend the compote for too long, otherwise you won't have any of the cherry chunks.
Return to the saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, while the mixture thickens.
Turn the heat off and let cool a bit. Store in a air tight container overnight.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8" spring form pan or cake pan with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 to 3 minutes, until light in color and fluffy in texture.
Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Add the almond extract, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
Over medium heat, toast the almond slices in large pan so the almonds are in one layer. Toss continually so they don't burn.