28 April 2013

Nigella Challenge: Cherry-Almond Loaf Cake

This cake opens the 'Fruited Cakes' section in 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'. Its is beautifully simple, and simply beautiful.

The dark sweetness of the cherries, is a wonderful contrast to the lightness of the cake. It really is an afternoon cake in my opinion. Morning tea calls for something more elegant, which this decidedly isn't. Its a homely cake, but sometimes thats just what you need.

I have made this cake twice now. Once using thglacĂ© cherries, and a second time using preserved morello cherries as I just happened to have a jar. The second cake is damper as these cherries aren't dry. I have included photos from the second cake, but please choose which cherries you prefer (or can find).  You could easily use fresh cherries if they are in season, though I would suggest peeling them. 
  • 200g natural glacĂ© cherries (or the same of preserved morello cherries)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 drops almond essence
  • 100g almond meal
  • 6 tbsp milk
Preheat your oven to 170C. Line a 23 x 13 cm loaf tin (approximately 7cm deep) with baking paper, or grease very well..

Halve the cherries, and set aside. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs and almond essence. Gently fold in the flour and almond meal with a spoon or spatula. Fold in cherries and milk. This is a very thick mixture, so don't be alarmed by how much you need to mix it to combine everything.

Spoon mixture into the tin and bake 45-60 mins (you will need a little longer I found for the morello cherries as the mixture will be wetter). A cake tester or skewer should come out clean. Cool completely in the tin before slicing to serve.