Old-Fashioned Cherry Cake Recipe

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Cakes River Cottage HandbookThe glacé cherry plays a supporting role in lots of recipes. It lends glamour to fruit cakes, crystal-like jewels to Florentines and very often it’s the cherry on top of the cake! Allow it sovereignty and you will truly appreciate its flavour and texture. Undoubtedly one of my favourites, cherry cake is an absolute teatime classic.

  • Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 250 g natural undyed glacé cherries
  • 75 g plain flour, plus ½ tbsp to dust cherries
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 175 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 ml milk, to mix
To finish
  • Glacé icing
  • 4 glacé cherries, halved
  • 4 pieces candied angelica (optional)
Equipment
  • 2 litre loaf tin, about 25 x 13 cm, lightly greased and lined with baking parchment, or a 20 cm round or 18 cm square tin lightly greased and base-lined with baking parchment
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Start by rinsing the sticky sugar syrup off the cherries. To do this, place them in a sieve and rinse with a little warm water. Dry thoroughly with a piece of kitchen paper, then cut the cherries in half and toss with ½ tbsp plain flour; set aside. Sift the flours and salt together.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or hand-held electric whisk, beat the butter to a cream. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the flour with each and beating thoroughly before adding the next egg.
  3. Fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds and the glacé cherries. Add the vanilla extract and incorporate sufficient milk to give a light dropping consistency.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing over the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the oven for 55–60 minutes until evenly cooked and the centre springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To finish, spread the glacé icing evenly over the surface of the cake. Decorate with glacé cherry halves and finely cut strips of angelica. This cake will keep for about a week in an airtight tin.
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