I’ve been eating cherries like they’re going out of style this week, so what could be more appropriate than baking an old-fashioned English cherry cake for the weekend? I’m not sure that glacé cherries really count as one of your five-a-day, but it’s a lovely piece of cake to have with your morning coffee and the ground almonds in it make it really soft and crumbly, yum!
200g glacé cherries
175g block butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, whisked lightly
175g plain flour
½ level teaspoon baking powder
75g ground almonds
a few drops almond extract
1 dessertspoon milk
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
Equipment: You will also need an 18cm round cake tin, buttered and with base and sides lined (although I used a loaf tin).
Begin by preparing the cherries. If they’re dripping in syrup, pat them dry with kitchen paper, then slice each one into four. For the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. Now gradually beat in the whisked eggs a little at a time.
Then sift the flour and baking powder together, and carefully fold this into the creamed mixture using a metal spoon. Toss two thirds of the cherries together with the ground almonds and carefully fold these into the cake, adding one or two drops of almond extract and the milk.
Now spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin, level off the top with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle over the remaining third of the cherries and poke them just under the surface with a teaspoon.
Bake the cake near the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, then cover with foil and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, or until the centre is springy to touch.
Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight tin.