Fruit, sponge and a crunchy sugar topping – it doesn’t take much to please me! You’ll see in my footnote below that this was rather a last minute bake but that doesn’t detract from just how tasty it was. It was certainly a crowd pleaser too, and disappeared in a blink of an eye!
Almond in the sponge gives this a Bakewell kind of vibe and I suppose you could leave off the sugar topping and make glace icing instead. But I would struggle to do that...I do like a sugar crust! Close up of sugar crust:
This recipe originally used plums and so I’ll be making it again once my parent’s damson tree burst forth with fruit. Any fruit would work with this basic batter of butter and almonds.
The cake is moist without being squidgy and is really comforting to eat; it’s not fancy or glamorous but relies on good flavour and texture to get it noticed.
Footnote: I wasn’t planning on making this cake; it was rather an eleventh hour raid-the-store-cupboard-for-ingredients affair. I had planned on making Bill Granger’s blueberry butter cake but found the recipe to be a nightmare – there was far too much batter which ended up spewing Vesuvius-like all over my oven, and I only used half the topping as there was so much of it. I didn’t use his book; the recipe was published in “Woman and Home” magazine. I wonder if the magazine had some typos in the ingredients listing. Has anyone made this cake? Did the recipe all fit in the tin? The ingredients weren’t cheap and I was desperately disappointed.
200g (drained weight) cherries – I used tinned but fresh would be great too
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
100g light muscovado sugar
For the topping: 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
To serve: cream
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan oven 160˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4.
Prepare a 20cm round springform tin by lining with baking paper.
Drain the cherries and leave to one side so they dry a little.
Place the butter and flour in a bowl and rub in the butter, using your fingertips until the mixture forms breadcrumbs.
Stir in the almonds and muscovado sugar.
Measure the milk out in a jug and break the eggs into it. Whisk until they are combined.
Stir the milk and eggs into the cake mixture.
Gently stir in the cherries; some may break down and colour the batter but don’t worry – it looks rather good!
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the top.
Bake the cake for 40-5o minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took 50 minutes.
Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack until the tin is cool enough to remove. Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Serve the cake at room temperature with thick cream.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.