BING CHERRY AND ALMOND CAKE

In need of a pick-me-up? Make lockdown a little sweeter with this delicious Bing cherry and almond cake recipe from Prue Leith's latest cookbook. Introduced to her by a contestant on The Great British Bake Off, Bing cherries from Oregon are too juicy to be used fresh, so she's opted for dried ones, which you can buy online – but you can use any kind of cherries.

The final product, Prue Leith's Bing cherry and almond cake
The final product, Prue Leith's Bing cherry and almond cake

In need of a pick-me-up? Make lockdown a little sweeter with this delicious Bing cherry and almond cake recipe from Prue Leith's latest cookbook. Introduced to her by a contestant on The Great British Bake Off, Bing cherries from Oregon are too juicy to be used fresh, so she's opted for dried ones, which you can buy online – but you can use any kind of cherries.

A slice of the bing cherry and almond cake Prue Leith's Cherry and almond cake A slice of the bing cherry and almond cake

INGREDIENTS
Serves 12

  • 150g dried cherries, preferably Bing
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 270g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 115g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 210g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 190ml whole milk
  • 120g chilled marzipan, coarsely grated
  • 30g flaked almonds
Prue Leith's Cherry and almond cake METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5. Grease the sides of a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  2. Put the cherries in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, set aside and leave to soak.
  3. Spread the ground almonds out on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 3–4 minutes, or until just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add the toasted ground almonds.
  5. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the almond extract. Then, beat in half the flour and almond mixture, followed by half the milk. Add the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining milk. Beat until everything is combined with no streaks of flour remaining.
  7. Drain the cherries, then squeeze and pat them dry. Cut the cherries up until they are the size of currants.
  8. Add the chopped cherries to the cake batter along with the grated marzipan and stir to distribute them evenly. Transfer the mixture to the cake tin, then sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top.
  9. Bake in the middle of the oven for 60–70 minutes. Check it after 40 minutes, and if the top is browning too quickly, cover the cake loosely with foil for the remaining cooking time. When it is ready, it should be well risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. If it doesn’t, give it another 5 minutes in the oven.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

TIPS:

This cake will keep well in an airtight container for up to 1 week. It also freezes perfectly.

It’s delicious served with crème fraîche, mascarpone or Greek yoghurt streaked with cherry jam.

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