Saturday, 28 November 2015

November's bake of the month

My nemesis in the baking world seems to be cherries. No matter how many tips and hints I follow to stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake, the little devils always do!!!!

One of my motto's is 'I'll never be beaten' so the kitchen was prepared for yet another cherry v Gertie showdown...

Rather than attempt the usual cherry cake recipe I decide to add another player in the ring – a layer of marzipan. I was hoping the marzipan would be a good ally by forming a protective layer to stop the cherries from all sinking to the bottom.

On the other hand my plan could backfire. The cherries could simply do what they usually do, but this time twice in one go to add insult to injury.

What was the result – you'll have to wait until the end of the blog to find out.

Let the battle begin !!!!!!!


Cherry marzipan cake  
(adapted from a Good Food recipe)
Ingredients:
  • 8oz (200g) butter/margarine, softened
  • 8oz (200g) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 8oz (200g) self-raising flour, sieved
  • 8oz (200g) glacé cherries, chopped
  • 4oz (100g) ground almonds
  • 9oz (250g) marzipan – doesn't matter if it's golden or white
  • 2oz blanched almonds, cut into half lengthways
  • Icing sugar, optional

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 160ºc/Gas Mk 4. Fan oven 140ºc.
  • Line a deep 8 inch/20cm round cake tin with baking parchment or a cake liner. Using greaseproof paper or baking parchment, make a 7 ½ inch/ 19cm round circle template. Put to one side for now.
  • Beat the butter/margarine together until light and creamy.
  • Gradually add in the eggs and flour, a little of each at a time, beating well before adding any more. Incorporating the small amounts of the eggs and flour together should stop the mix from curdling.
  • Fold in the cherries and ground almonds until they are evenly incorporated.
  • Spoon half of the mix into the tin.
  • Roll out the marzipan then cut out a 7 ½ inch round circle using the template you made earlier.
  • Gently lay the marzipan circle on top of the cake mix already in the tin, then add the rest of the cake batter, leavening the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.
  • Finally scatter the almonds evenly on top of the cake.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, or until a skewer (I use a piece of spaghetti but you could use a clean knitting needle or cocktail stick) comes out clean. To stop the top of the cake from burning cover it with tin foil after 1 hour.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • You can dust the cake with icing sugar if you wish.

Gertie

** Did I finally claim victory over the cherries or was it business as usual. Long silence to add to the dramatic effect.... 

I won !!!!