Welcome back, are you enjoying the sun? It's beautiful weather here in Chester although it's rather dismal in the dock. You watch, when we get out on Friday the weather will change and it'll persist down!
We're now just killing time until we leave the dock on Friday morning so when I got back from Tesco yesterday I made a cake. It's the cherry and almond one that I made for David's birthday. I've never yet met a man who doesn't like this cake and Roger's no exception. From the day that I made David's he's been asking me to make him one too.
It's an old recipe that I've been making for years. In fact it's so old that I can't remember where the original recipe came from and over the years mine has probably changed a bit. I'll share the current recipe with you now, if you'd like.
Cherry & Almond Cake
8oz butter or marg. (I used Clover because it was on offer in Tesco)
8oz caster sugar (I use normal granulated and wizz it in the processor to make it finer, basically so I don't have to store 2 bags of different white sugar)
8oz SR flour
1 x 200g carton of glace cherries chopped up a bit
1 x 100g packet of ground almonds
4 beaten eggs
1 capful of almond extract
Pre-heat your oven to Gas 4 (your oven may be hotter or cooler so adjust up or down 1 mark as you think fit)
The first job is to line your cake tin. When I make loaf cakes I use ready made cake tin liners but this round tin is 20cm diameter and I can only find 18cm diameter liners in the Pound shops. Lining the tin is easy enough with greaseproof paper. You need to line the base first and then do the sides.
Whisk the fat and sugar together for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. If you haven't got a mixer you can do this with a wooden spoon but it'll take a bit longer.
Add the eggs a bit at a time and if the mixture looks like it's splitting add a spoonful of the flour and continue till all the eggs are in. Whisk in a capful of almond extract. Almond extract is slightly more expensive than almond essence but the flavour is much better and a small bottle lasts ages.
Fold in the flour slowly, mixing well until it's all added.
Fold in the cherries and ground almonds and mix so the cherries are well distributed.
Put 2/3 of the mixture in your tin and spread out so it's level.
Slice some marzipan about the thickness of a pound coin and lay over the cake mix. I used to make a ball of marzipan and roll it out to the size of the tin, but to be honest this way is much easier and you can't tell the difference when the cake is baked.
Spoon the rest of the cake mix on top and level it off. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake in the middle of the over for 1 hour 30 minutes. I put the tin on a baking sheet so it cooks more evenly.
Check your cake after 1 hour 20 minutes and if it's getting too brown you can cover it with a piece of foil so the almonds don't burn. It's ready when it starts to come away from the sides of the tin and is firm but springy when you press the top. You could also check it with a cake skewer but the marzipan tends to stick to them and gives a false impression that it's not cooked. Every time I make it it takes a different time to cook. This time it took 1 hour 45 minutes.
So there you have it; my cherry and almond cake. Visitors welcome but it won't last long
Bye for now