Low Sugar Cherry and Almond Cake
- Rinse and dry the glacé cherries, cut into 8's then dip in a little flour (to prevent them sinking to the bottom during the bake), set aside.
- As my almond strips have been in the kitchen for a while, I've given them a little toast in a pan (without oil) for a few minutes to rid of any staleness. Set aside to cool.
- Lightly grease a 20cm glass casserole dish and set aside. I prefer it to a cake tin because I won't need to line it with baking parchment and there's no problem turning out the cake; not to mention that it's also super easy to clean.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl till it's light and fluffy (I've used a handheld mixer this time so it took just a few minutes on the lowest setting), then beat in the eggs on by one.
- Sift the plain flour and baking powder together, then gradually fold the mixture in to the creamed butter mix. I do try to do it very lightly to avoid knocking the air out too much and generating gluten which would make the cake dense and probably hard.
- Even before the flour is completely blended in, add in the ground almond (I find that helps with the mixing and not work the gluten too easily), followed by the glacé cherries.
- The batter is not exactly runny so it is then spooned into the greased glass casserole dish. Level the surface and bake in the oven at preheated 180ºC. As this is my first time baking this cake, I've set it to an hour but started checking the bake after 40 minutes. When poked a metal skewer through and it came out clean, it's done. It took just about 50 minutes (although some recipes I've seen have asked for an hour or more baking time).
- Take the cake out and cool for about half an hour before turning it out onto the cake stand (or a large flat dish).
- Whilst cooling the cake, mix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar with the lemon juice to make a loose but not runny paste. I've dribbled the lemon juice in gradually whilst stirring until I get the consistency. It should be runny enough to fall from the spoon slowly.
- Once the cake is completely cool, arrange the cherries around the edge then loosely scatter the almond strips over the top (ideally it should be almond flakes but strips is all I have). Dribble the icing paste all over and leave to set.
Next on the agenda: 2-mile run for the next few days and give some of the cake away.