Sunday, 16 October 2011

Morello cherry sponge cake

If I see something interesting or tasty looking in the supermarket I will buy it even if I have no planned use for it. This means I have beautifully stocked but permanently overfull cupboards. When I say “overfull” I mean full to the point that I can’t always face looking at what’s up the back of the cupboard. I’m trying to get Mr CC to appreciate how exciting a well stocked cupboard is but I think I’m failing – he sees my ‘treasures’ as obstacles hindering him access to the cereal.

Every time I tidy my baking store cupboard I take out the jar of morello cherries, check the date is still ok, and then put them back. Too ashamed to go through this ritual again I decided it was time to use the cherries....and here’s the cake!

Usually I find a recipe to bake and then make sure I buy everything I need to make it. It’s a nice change to start with a jar of cherries and seek a recipe to use them. This cake is adapted from a German recipe; I always seem drawn to German recipes – I like no-nonsense, no frills flavoursome cakes and Germany seems to share my fondness!

Morello cherries are unique; they have the sweet fruitiness of other cherries but also that tart/sour note...I want to say they have an almost nutty taste but don’t want to mislead anyone! I’m not really sure how to describe their complex flavour but I love them contrasted against sweet, soft, buttery sponge cake.

The shiny glaze on the top comes from brushing molten apricot jam over the hot cake; it elevates a simple cake to something more patisserie-style. The glaze sets shiny and unsticky so it’s not a pain to eat!

Of course, while I’m pleased I have finally used the morello cherries, I can’t help thinking that there’s room on the shelf for another jar now......!


For the cake:
350g jar morello cherries
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 drops lemon juice – I always have a jif lemon on standby in the fridge for such things!
3 eggs
200g self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon water


Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan oven 160°C/350°F/ Gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm springform round tin with baking paper.

Drain the cherries and leave them to air dry while you make the cake.

Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light, pale and whippy. Don’t skimp on this stage.

Beat in the vanilla and lemon.

Beat in the eggs one at a time; if the mix looks like it might start to curdle add some of the flower.

Briefly beat in the flour and milk. Don’t overbeat it – just go until the batter looks smooth and the ingredients are well combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Gently place the cherries on top of the batter. Don’t press them down as you don’t want to encourage them to sink!

Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.

While the cake is baking, pass the jam through a sieve and stir in the water.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, heat the jam and water to boiling point then brush over the hot cake.

Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack. Leave it in its tin until you can safely remove it.

The cake will store in an airtight container for several days.

Serve in generous slices with thick cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria said...

This sponge cake look amazing and delicious ! gloria

LandGirl1980 said...

This looks SCRUMMY! I see you have used those massive cupcake cases I have seen in the shops recently - do you use them with a baking tin also?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi LandGirl1980

Yes, when I use these I line the tin with them - they wouldn't be strong enough to support a cake batter on their own.

Mine come from Lakeland:

Happy baking!

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

oh wow this looks so moist! I always like getting my nan save the recipe cars from magazines in Norway as they are similar to German, love them

Nom! x

MissCakeBaker said...

This cake looks delicious!

Jo said...

Gorgeous cake as always! I love the shiny glaze. I also like seeing a glimpse of your red Kitchenaid in the first photo.

Lisa Shannon said...

Looks beautiful! I too have over stuffed cupboards to the point of them being dangerous. LOL x

C said...

Wow, what a beauty. I love the way you get your cakes to stand so tall. This one looks amazing - really light and fluffy and tall, and so so pale. Hmmm, wish I had a jar of morello cherries in my pantry now (I'm guessing the kalamata olives wouldn't be a good substitute right? ;-))

I do share your propensity for buying interesting ingredients with no set use in mind for them... looking at you rice syrup and preserved lemons....

Lucy said...

This cake looks delicious - I love that it doesn't have a huge calorific icing but is still such a treat! Looks perfect with the thick cream.

Choclette said...

He he, I'm so with you on the overstocked cupboards - my various bargains and interesting foodie goods are spilling out into virtually every room now. A large walk in in larder is what I dream of. Your cake looks delicious and nicely colourful.

Lisa said...

Here via, er, I can't remember who actually but here I am.
This looks utterly delicious. As in I NEED TO MAKE THIS NOW delicious.

Nicola said...

That looks scrummy! I also have an over flowing baking cupboard full of 'must have' purchases that sit in said cupboard for months and months until I notice the bb date is looming!

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Gosh, that looks so good!
I've got a jar of cherries in my cupboard too!

Katie said...

Looks gorgoues! I adore morello cherries. I do the same thing with my cupboard. I buy a special ingredient and then don't want to eat it as I'm saving it for a special recipe. Then the next thing I know its nearly out of date! I use it and then think - right better restock now! Lol. Love the shiny glaze on top, so professional looking

Maggie said...

I have always got a couple of jars of these lurking in the cupboard somewhere and keep on rearranging them.
Your cake is a wonderful way to use them.

Cakelaw said...

This looks dvine!

Beth (Jam and Clotted Cream) said...

You sound exactly like me. I had a big clear out of my cupboards the other day- it felt good! Great cake

Alison said...

Mmmm love cherries in cake. Have you tried Amarena cherries, they're delicious! Have quite a few jars of them in my 'store cupboard' for when I can get to baking. They're only available in Aldi once a year, so I stock up!!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

A delicious bake CC. Thank you for the Lakeland tip- I'm well over-due a visit. I hope Mr CC approved - a cake, plus space!

Baking Addict said...

Amazing cake as always. I'm the same with my cupboards. I'm forever overstocking or buying something because I think it will be good to bake with (even if I can't read what it says when I travel!)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a lovely fine texture cake you've got there! And hehe yes I will definitely admit to a bulging pantry! :)

Two Wednesdays said...

Mmmmm - have a sudden desire for cake (and I too have a jar of cherries in the cupboard....)

Sumaiyyah said...

Oh, wow... this is one of the times when I say, "This is my kind of cake" even though I like all kinds of cakes! If I could, I'd probably cut off the whole of the the top part and eat 'em all to myself :P

Pauline said...

I love full cupboards, gives you a glow of happiness, must appeal to our primal instincts!
Love the look of this and it certainly makes a change from glace cherries.

Ysabel said...

I've just tried this recipe and the result is great!A really soft cake with a delicious taste!I love your blog by the way!You make everything sound so easy!

J Thomas said...

Fab recipe. Didn't last long. Used brandy instead of water in the apricot glaze.

plasterers bristol said...

This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe.


Christine Ounsworth said...

Could this be baked as a bundt cake

Unknown said...

I used to buy these Cherries in Aldi and Lidl but the don't appear to be selling them now any ideas where I can get them

Used too make the into cherry pie filling to make Black Forrest gateau using a little sugar and corn flour in the juice delicious and you get cherries in it unlike the tins