CHERRY AND ALMOND CAKE-WELL

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Someone told me this weekend that they had experienced a significant increase of cake in their life since they met me.  I HOPE this is a good thing (cake is one of your five a day, right?), so it only seems appropriate that I honour this reputation and post a cake recipe in anticipation of the March Bake.

If you saw the word cupcake in the title and thought, ‘not another bland-sponge-with-too-much-icing shambles’… do not fear. For a start the sponge is enriched with ground almonds and coconut milk. Got those taste buds watering? And that’s before I mention the hidden home-made cherry jam centre. And the almond buttercream; it really is the cherry on top of the cake…

3 cakes

All puns aside, these tasty treats are a delicious fusion between a cupcake and a bakewell – and you can make them using frozen cherries, so there’s no excuse not to try them! The recipe is adapted (anglicised) from http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2009/12/cherry-filled-almond-cupcakes.html

INGREDIENTS

Sponge:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract

Cherry Jam:

  • 1 cup frozen cherries + a few for decorating (Sainsburys have a great selection of frozen fruit)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tbsp. corn flour made into a paste with 1 tbsp water

Almond Buttercream:

  • ½ a cup softened unsalted butter (which is about 4oz, cups are so easy to measure ingredients until it comes to butter!)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (or just a few drops if you don’t want the taste to be too strong)
  • Colouring
  • A dash of cream/milk

Preheat oven to 170ᵒC.

Sift the dry ingredients (minus the sugar) into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, oil, vanilla and almond extract. Add the sugar and whisk again until well combined. Pour this mixture into the well and incorporate slowly with a whisk a little at a time, as you would do when making pancake batter.

Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes (the exact time will depend on your oven).  Leave to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make the cherry jam.  Place the cherries, sugar and water (not the cornflour) in a pan and heat gently until the mixture is simmering.  You may need to crush some of the whole cherries.  When the cherries are simmering nicely, add the corn flour paste and stir over a gentle heat until the mixture thickens.  Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

jam

To make the icing, cream the butter with an electric whisk and slowly beat in the sifted icing sugar.  Add vanilla and almond, any colouring and mix again. Add milk/cream and keep beating until it reaches a fluffy consistency.

ASSEMBLY

all 12 cakes

Using a knife, cut out a core from the middle of the cupcakes and fill them with the cool jam, which should be quite jelly-ish now it’s cooled down.  Put the icing in a piping bag and swirl it on top, as much as you like (I don’t like tooo much icing) Top with a cherry! If you want to add some shine to the cherries, and you have a bit of free time, you could make the syrup from the January Bake, and brush the cherries with it with a pastry brush.

bitten

So I hope I have increased the amount of cake in your life now!

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