Sam’s (almost) foolproof cherry cake

cherry almond cakeA super easy and almost foolproof cake. You could add sultanas and a teaspoonful of mixed spice instead of the cherries, or chocolate chips. No need to rinse sultanas or chocolate chips though.

  • 150g glace cherries
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 175g soft margarine (this is one time where you shouldn’t be tempted to use butter – it’ll taste OK but won’t rise very much)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, medium

1 loaf tin measuring 20 x 12 x 8cm

Heat your oven to 180 degrees C or gas mark 4.

Cut the cherries into quarters, put them in a sieve and rinse them under warm running water.  Pat them dry on a paper towel.  Don’t cheat on this bit and think you can leave the cherries whole or in halves – if the cherries are any bigger than in quarters, the bits all sink to the bottom of the cake. They may sink anyway, but it’ll still taste great.

Line the loaf tin with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. The best way is to cut a big oblong of paper, then put the loaf tin in the centre and mark where each corner is on the paper. Then make a diagonal cut from each outer corner to the mark.  You should then be able to fit the paper into the tin, folding the corners over each other to make sure the whole tin is covered. Or you could use a ready-made paper loaf tin liner…

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the margarine, sugar and ground almonds.  Break the eggs into a cup and pour them in too.  Breaking them into a cup means you can fish out any stray bits of shell more easily.

Beat the mixture firmly with a wooden spoon, or use a handmixer, until it becomes light and fluffy.  Then GENTLY mix in the pieces of cherry. Don’t use the mixer for this bit!

Scrape the mixture out of the bowl into the lined loaf tin.  Smooth the top to make it level.

Bake the loaf for about 1 1/4 hours, until it rises and turns golden.  Turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.  Cut in slices and eat! It doesn’t keep long, but then it never lasts that long when we make one anyway.

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