Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer was my hygge book last week. I love featuring recipe books, and making recipes from them, but today’s recipe, although it shares part of the title, is based on an old one I used to make for the children. My daughter, God bless her, doesn’t eat cherries but both my sons do, so this is a cake they used to enjoy back in the day before Sarah took over the world and the Kitchen.
It’s based on a recipe for cherry cake by Blessed Delia Smith, she who taught me to cook. And it features a useful tip: to avoid all the cherries falling to the base, Delia advises one to put only 2/3 of the cherries in the recipe initially and to add the final third just before popping into the oven. Truthfully, I was never that perfect a mother and we just had plain cake for most of the treat with a mouthful rich in cherries at the end. We do what we can, not what we are always supposed to.
Cherry Cake… with cherries all through!
200g glacé cherries
175g block butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, whisked lightly
175g plain flour
½ level teaspoon baking powder
75g ground almonds
a few drops almond extract
1 dessertspoon milk
- Preheat the oven to GM4, 180deg C. Butter and line an 18cm round cake tin.
- Begin by preparing the cherries. Wash them, then slice each one into four.
- For the cake, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. Now gradually beat in the whisked eggs a little at a time. Then sift the flour and baking powder together, and carefully fold this into the creamed mixture using a metal spoon.
- Toss two thirds of the cherries together with the ground almonds and carefully fold these into the cake, adding one or two drops of almond extract and the milk.
- Now spoon the cake mix into the prepared tin, level off the top with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle over the remaining third of the cherries and poke them just under the surface with a teaspoon.
- Bake the cake near the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, then cover with foil and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, or until the centre is springy to touch.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight tin.
Have I admitted to my hero worship of Delia? She taught me to cook, when first married, and I have to say whenever I need to look up a recipe or cooking instruction, her Complete Cookery Course is the one I turn to. My copy dates from around 1993, the year I got married, but has lasted well with a coating of sticky backed plastic and pride of place on the shelf in the Dining room. I wonder if the ages of cooks can be told by their Go To manuals? Doubtless every 19th Century homecook had Mrs Beeton to turn to, while American 50’s Mommas looked to Betty Crocker. I rather suspect the generation one down from me were trained to read Nigella or Nigel, both of whom I love, and watch, but neither of whom have ever hit the spot with one book that contains everything and in a way I can access. I hate the coloured photo steps, but I need the picture of the finished article, I dislike too pretentious a collection, but I desire a variety that includes most areas of cooking that I actually do. And in the end, I need a book that is more function than form. Perhaps I should cover it as a hygge book one day…. maybe.
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