Sunday, 11 December 2011

Maraschino cherry and banana loaf

Most tasks in life have either a sensible or a silly order in which to tackle them; let’s take the totally random example of baking:

Sensible order – ooh, that recipe looks nice; I’ll go out and buy the ingredients to make it

Silly order – ooh, that enormous jar of maraschino cherries is irresistible. I have to buy it...I’m sure I’ll find a recipe to use it somehow.

I was perusing my local market this week and came across the bargain groceries stall; most markets will have a similar stall selling stock that they’ve bought up cheap –it might be well known brands but with foreign labels, or orders that fell through and the manufacturer just wants rid. Anyway, long story short, I found myself in possession of a kilo jar of Belgian maraschino cherries (for £1.50 – bargain of the year or what?). I figured I’d either find a nice cake recipe or Christmas for Mr CC and I would be a cocktail-tastic blur!

For those of you unsure what a maraschino cherry actually is it’s that festively red cherry you will find floating about in your cocktail. It’s a sweetened, preserved cherry and I think when they’re candied they become glace cherries. I should also warn you that chopping up maraschino cherries is a terribly sad task – it feels like chopping up hundreds of tiny clown noses:

Without being too obviously so, I think this is a festive looking cake. It packs a great flavour, hardly surprising when you consider it contains a lot of cherries plus banana and walnuts. It’s also a plain cake, by which I mean it doesn’t need cream, buttercream or any other jazzy accompaniment.

If, like Mr CC, you’re not mad about bananas in cake but, like me, have an impulse-purchase jar of maraschino cherries you’d like to use you could do worse than make my Madeira cake recipe and simply add 250g of cherries to it! The recipe can be found

So, both cakes made and a whole jar of cherries emptied. Of course, what a truly crazy person would do is go back to the market stall and buy another jar....mwah hah hah ha!


300g maraschino cherries, plus 2 tablespoons of the syrup from the jar
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g light muscovado sugar, plus 2 tablespoons extra to sprinkle on top
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
225g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50g walnuts, chopped


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

Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking paper.

Drain the maraschino cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of the syrup.

Cut the cherries into quarters and put to one side.

Beat together the butter and sugar until they are smooth and whipped.

Beat in the eggs and reserved syrup until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas – recipes always say to do it with a fork but I think it’s easiest to do this with your potato masher.

Stir in half the flour to the butter mix followed by half the bananas.

Add the remaining flour plus the baking powder, followed by the remaining bananas.

Stir in the chopped cherries and walnuts.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Sprinkle the additional 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top and bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Mine took 1 hour 10 minutes.

Place the cake, still in the tin, on a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle and remove the tin. Then leave to cool completely on the wire rack. The cake will keep for several days in an airtight tin.

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



Jo said...

I love the colour of those cherries! And for £1.50! Perfect for a bit of festive baking. A banana and cherry loaf sounds lovely.

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

I do everything in that order too! "Ooh, that rosewater essence sounds snazzy. I'll buy it then I'm sure I'll find a recipe to use for it!"

So sad to hear about the clown noses, maybe you could have put them in whole but then there is the case of knowing you're baking a load of clown's noses at 180C :S

Anyway, looks great and I love the colour!

Kezia said...

Those cherries look amazing and they must have no end of christmasy baking potential. The cake looks lovely and moist! Oh and btw, how did you get the cherries not to sink right to the bottom of the cake? They always do that when I make cherry cake although it could be because I've only used glace cherries.

Sumaiyyah said...

I'm pretty sure I fall into both categories... and your comment about chopping up the cherries and being reminded of clown noses... I'll never be able to look at glazed cherries the same way again! ^___^

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Kezia

Cutting up the cherries helps as it makes them lighter. With the loaf, the banana made it a firmer batter so they were supported during baking.
With the madeira, a much thinner batter, some did sink a bit but enough didn't that it still looked ok!

Happy baking

sensibilia said...

Mmm. Yum. I have the same attitude, but its not things I have bought, its things hubby has bought. He will go round buying everything on the list when he makes something, without checking the cupboard first. So we always have at least 3 jars with vanilla pods in, that sort of thing. I usually make something to use up if I can. This could use up the cherries left over from his Xmas extravaganza shopping spree.

Dark Heart 2011 said...

Nice articles. I'm just blogwalking and very happy to stop here. And also give you some comment and following your blog here.

Dont forget to give us some your comment into my blog and following me back too.

Victoria said...

my mum makes a cake like this with glacee cherries! sooo festive and sooo perfect!! yum yum

Pauline said...

Now that was a big jar! Considering the little tiddlers we normally get. Like both cakes so would insist on a very large tea, sorry I mean both please. :-) with tea please.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - I do the same thing. My haul for doing that this week is a punnet of goseberries and a punnet of red currants, which I have to freeze because I am going away and don't have time to use them before then. What a gorgeous cake resulted from your efforts - yum!

Maggie said...

Bargain! I always use the ones from Lidl and they are absolutely fine too. Love the Madeira cake with cherries.

Loveforfood said...

Oh!! Love that yummy!! the cherries are awesome!

Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes said...

Oh wow! I love maraschino cherries and I love banana cake. This sounds perfect and looks great!

Lisa Marie said...

Oooo, CC! Pretty, pretty, pretty. Do you think this loaf would travel well? The Yorkshire Parkin would, of course, be the ultimate mail-able cake, but how do you think this would hold up?

Lisa Marie

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Lisa Marie

I think it this was in a suitably close fitting container it would hold up - it's not crumbly but moist, like a bread pudding.

Happy baking

Baking Addict said...

I always do things in the silly order. I have so many 'bargains' waiting to be baked into something yummy. The cake looks lovely and I really like the colour that the cherries add.

The KitchenMaid said...

I am a fiend for maraschino cherries and SO envious of your find! Am busy perusing your back catalogue as am going to embark on a weekend of baking for a friend (in exchange for a scooter helmet - it's a long story)...

Anonymous said...

Impulse purchases are the best! My shelves are filled with random ingredients and I always manage to find some way to get them into my baking :-) Love the festive, jewel-like cherries in this, yum!

Christy said...

Hahaha, is there ever an order for baking, like, at all? LOL:)

JavelinWarrior said...

I remember making a bread loaf very similar to this when I was very young (like 7 or 8). And I remember it was for a church function and all of us kids went home with dozens of these tasty loaves. The cherries and moistness were the best parts. Ok, now I'm CRAVING this bread ;)