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Comfort Food #15: Cherry Cake

26 Oct

Image from Sainsbury's

Image from Sainsbury’s

 

This Comfort Food post is a little bit of a strange choice for me because although I love cake, I am not a fan of glacè cherries at all. Furthermore, because there is a Christmas element to this post, I suppose it would have been more ideal for December, but watching Mary Berry show viewers how to make the perfect cherry cake has inspired me. So cherry cake it is!

 

Image from deliaonline.com

Image from deliaonline.com

A cherry cake is traditionally a sponge that contains halved or quartered red glace cherries, which is then topped with icing, flaked almonds and more glacè cherries. Even though a freshly baked cherry cake is not my idea of bliss due to the use of ghastly glacè cherries, they most definitely do take me bake to childhood Christmases back in the 1980s. When my sister and I were younger – before we were joined by our two other siblings – Mum used to bake an array of baked goodies every Christmas. In fact she used to bake so much, there must have been more than enough for the entire neighbourhood! Of course one of these bakes included cherry cake which was one of Mum’s favourites.

Image from bbcgoodfood.com

Image from bbcgoodfood.com

 

Even though I’ve disliked glace cherries since I was a very young child, I did like Mum’s cakes, so I would always have a slice – and just picked out the cherries. But what was most memorable about these cakes was that, we always had a slice of cherry cake after we got home from midnight mass. So cherry cake -offending glace cherries or not – always bring back happy memories of Christmas, midnight mass, and Mum’s large-scale baking!

Image from nigella.com

Image from nigella.com

But even though I have mixed feelings about cherry cake, I know that most people, like Mum, absolutely love it! It is a very old-fashioned, very traditional English cake which I’ve been told is usually linked to Easter. It’s a very versatile cake and fits the bill for just everything: picnics, afternoon tea, lunch boxes, bake sales and it is the mainstay of traditional tearooms, not to mention one of the most popular cakes to be baked among the Women’s Institute. And although it may sound simple to make, quite often it isn’t as the cherries are notorious for sinking to the bottom of the cake. However people have their own methods for preventing this from happening. One of them being to rinse of the sticky syrup from the cherries before dusting them with flour. Delia Smith believes n mixing two-thirds of the cherries into the cake mixture before poking the remaining third through the top of the cake just before it goes into the oven.

Image from goodtoknow.com

Image from goodtoknow.com

 

Don’t get me wrong, I do love cherries just not glace cherries. But I’m wondering if I can substitute the glace cherries in the cake for dried, fresh or tinned cherries. I’d definitely have no problems with eating it then! But despite my reservations regarding cherry cake, nothing can take away the fact that cherry cake is a very memorable part of my childhood and evokes memories of Christmases gone by…

So here’s a recipe for cherry cake from Mary Berry for a traditional cherry cake. Try it and enjoy!

marys_cherry_cake_17869_16x9

Ingredients

200g/7oz glacé cherries
225g/8oz self-raising flour
175g/6oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz caster sugar
1 lemon, finely grated zest only
50g/1¾oz ground almonds
3 large free-range eggs
For the decoration
175g/6oz icing sugar
1 lemon, juice only
15g/½oz flaked almonds, toasted
5 glacé cherries, quartered

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grease a 23cm/9in bundt tin or savarin mould with butter.
  3. Cut the cherries into quarters.
  4. Set aside five of the quartered cherries for the decoration later.
  5. Put the rest of the quartered cherries in a sieve and rinse under running water.
  6. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper and toss in two tablespoons of the flour.
  7. Measure all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for two minutes to mix thoroughly.
  8. Lightly fold in the cherries.
  9. Turn into the prepared tin.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  12. For the icing, mix the icing sugar together with the lemon juice to a thick paste.
  13. Drizzle over the cooled cake using the back of a spoon, sprinkle over the toasted almonds and reserved cherries.

gingham-apron-pie-lady2.jpg

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Nostalgia Tastes Like This!, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Comfort Food #15: Cherry Cake

  1. Chitra Jagadish

    October 26, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Oh my goodness cherry cake and that glaze looks heavenly Angel…

    Like

     
    • darkangelrocks

      October 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      I’m so glad someone likes cherry cake! LOL. I’m going to attempt to make one – I don’t know if I’ll get the sponge as good as my mum’s – but I’m going to use dried cherries as I like those best.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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