Sunday, 28 June 2009

Fresh cherry cake with a hint of cinnamon

Summer is now in full swing with scorching temperatures in England this weekend. Unfortunately, the heat is coupled with high humidity which always makes baking a little trickier but us mad-keen bakers soldier on!

If asked to name a summer fruit I’m sure most of us would answer “strawberry” but in terms of sheer flavour and juiciness not much can beat a big, dark cherry. Perhaps I was a little extravagant in using Bing cherries, as they are quite expensive, but I do believe that – for a simple cake like this – quality ingredients are the key to flavour.

Stoning the cherries makes the cake much more pleasant to eat. I only use my cherry stoner about once a year but, when it’s needed, it truly is worth its weight in gold in terms of timesaving. I made two of these cakes thus had to stone 700g of cherries. It took less than 10 minutes. I do find that it splatters a bit though and my work top (and me) ended up looking a bit like the CSI team should be called in!

For the topping:
25g plain flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
25g golden caster sugar
25g unsalted butter, chilled

For the cake:
350g ripe cherries, stoned
280g self raising flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
8 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed
170g unsalted butter, melted

To serve: a dusting of icing sugar and thick spooning cream

How to make:
- Start by making the topping. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have crumble. (You can do this by hand with the old rubbing the butter into the flour method).
- It was very hot when I made this and the crumble started to form into big lumps. Don’t panic – refrigerate until needed then it will crumble between your fingers on to the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.
- Stone your cherries.
- Melt the butter and leave to one side.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Add the egg, milk and melted butter and whisk until well combined. You’re looking for a heavy, thick batter that will drop from the spoon/whisk. I needed to add a little extra milk to achieve this.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Scatter the cherries over the top and press lightly into the batter.
- Take the crumble topping from the fridge and using your fingers crumble the lumps into finer pieces and scatter evenly over the cherries.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin until you can comfortably handle the tin.
- Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature with thick cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


C said...

Ooooh, yum!!! I love the idea of cooking with cherries, but I'm too greedy and they never last long enough to bake with. They look deliciously juicy - I love the way cooked fruit releases it's juices into the surrounding cake - especially dark fruit like cherries and blueberries.

Katie said...

Oh it looks wonderful. I love how the cherries are peeping out of the top of the cake.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Oh this is one showstopper of a cake here C.C. fresh cherries peeking out to tease those taste buds -yum

Cakelaw said...

I'm with you on the cherry stoner - I hardly ever use it, but when I need it, it's a God-send. Gorgeous looking cake, BTW.