Cherry and Almond Cake

This cherry and almond cake is another one from my  River Cottage Handbook No 8 – Cakes. The original recipe had a streusel topping but I didn’t have enough ground almonds so just sprinkled flaked almonds over the top which happened to visually look better  than the original recipe as the cherries aren’t hidden. I also didn’t have fresh cherries but had a jar of morello cherries loitering at the back of the cupboard so drained and utilised these instead. Despite the cupboard raiding restraints and alterations it was a lovely moist cake and these are two of my favourite flavours. You could also use plums instead of cherries.

I have finally found some reasonably priced tile samples so should have some new background surfaces coming onto the blog as I play with different tiles.This is my faux marble one which isn’t bad but could do with a bit more veining maybe.

Cherry and almond cake

Cherry and Almond Cake

  • Servings: 10
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Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
75g self-raising white or wholemeal flour
75g ground almonds (ready-ground or whizzed in a food processor)
1 tsp almond extract (optional but lovely if you like that extra almondy, frangipane taste)
300g fresh cherries, stoned and halved

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Start by base lining and greasing a 20cm/8″ spring form cake tin.

For the cake, in a mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to a cream. Add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating 1 tbsp of the flour with each, and beating until thoroughly combined before adding the next. Stir in the ground almonds and almond extract, if using. Sift in the remaining flour and fold in gently, using a large metal spoon.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing it out evenly and gently with the back of the spoon. Lay the cherries over the top of the mixture. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the cherries and then scatter the slivered almonds all over the top.

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes before releasing the tin and moving the cake to a wire rack to cool. This cake is delicious warm or cold, with custard (if serving warm) or clotted cream or Greek yoghurt. It will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight tin.

Cherry and almond cake

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Vanilla Celebration Cake

The last weekend of July marked my Granma’s 80th birthday so a few weeks ago I set about making a gardening themed cake that could hopefully withstand travelling 310 miles to Cornwall in two trains, a plane and a car. I hadn’t intended to blog this birthday cake but took some pictures before it made its epic journey just in case and I do get asked for celebration cake recipes so here is the BBC Good Food recipe I always use. I have a increased the quantities by 1/5 below to make a slightly deeper cake as I was concerned about the number of guests increasing once I’d bought the cake board and box. This 8″ cake fed 28 with party sized slices cut in a controversial grid pattern.

I haven’t gone into great detail with the sugar craft work as I’m not an expert and the recipe is long enough already! Tutorials on splitting cakes, crumb coating, applying sugar paste and making decorations can all be found on Youtube or google which I where I learnt everything I know. The only thing I would say is never store a sugar paste covered cake in an airtight container or in the fridge. It will sweat and no one wants a sweaty cake no matter how pretty it looks.

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Toasted Almond Madeira Cake

After the disaster that befell the UK on Friday, there was nothing else to do but bake. I had been meaning to try out this Dan Lepard recipe for toasted almond madeira cake for a while and the end of last week seemed like the right time to give what seemed a very comforting and wintery cake a try.

If I’m honest I thought it would be a bit moister and denser than it was so may try it with ground almonds instead of toasted flaked ones next time. It was still delicious with a cup of tea on a rainy summers afternoon. Dan said the method of mixing in half of the flour before adding the eggs results in a finer crumb texture and it definitely does make a difference.

Dan Lepard Almond Madeira Cake Continue reading

Mini Egg Cake

Later than planned I have managed to write up this Mini Egg Cake on the train(s) to Gatwick (thanks to holiday engineering work it’s taking 3 hrs just to get to the airport). I’m heading home to Cornwall for Easter and made this chocolate and vanilla cake for my neighbours as a thank you for feeding my little monsters while I’m away. Rob declared that he doesn’t like chocolate cake but I’m pretty sure this will bring him round. Happy Easter folks!

IMG_1138Mini Egg Cake small Continue reading

Victoria Sandwich

I have a new oven… That cooks things…..in the time it’s supposed to! So to celebrate and test out said new oven I thought I’d christen it with a classic Victoria sponge sandwich. I can report it had a nice even bake and no noticeable hot spots. For the last few weeks I have been redecorating and sprucing up my tiny kitchen so will have to wait a while before I put the oven to more testing. In more exciting news, I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted in this years Pink Lady Food Photography Awards. Now I have a tense wait to find out if I make it to the final again. Fingers crossed!

IMG_1115Victoria SandwichSmall
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Bounty Bar Cake

Last weekend I was feeling a need for dense chocolate cake and an even greater need not to have to get dressed and buy ingredients or spend ages baking so I remembered this super easy Bounty Bar Cake from the River Cottage Handbook No 8 – Cakes by Pam Corbin. Aside from having the patience and fore thought for soaking the coconut for a few hours, it’s almost an all in one recipe and it hit the spot with a hot mug of tea.

IMG_1080Bounty bar cake small
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Walnut & Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

So I’m back and mostly unpacked. I could say this amazing cake from Roger Saul’s Spelt cookbook is a seasonal cake arrived just in time for the walnut harvest but sadly I wasn’t that thoughtful. I made and shot this cake a month ago to christen my new kitchen and test out the inherited gas oven. I’m not sure whats worse, a painfully slow gas oven that takes twice as long to cook everything or the left handed sink that forces me to wash up like I’m wearing a straightjacket or so it seems. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get this post together but thankfully most of the work was done last week as my newly broken arm is going to hamper the return to cooking, baking and blogging, as well as the last of the unpacking, furniture shabby chic-ing and other DIY projects that are joining a growing list.

Those keen eyed amongst you will realise there are only walnuts atop this cake, my newly restocked cupboards didn’t stretch to oats at the time of baking so I had to improvise. I have been assured the streusel topping is worth the effort so will be trying that next time.

Spelt Coffee & Walnut Cake Sharpham Park

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