cherry and marzipan cake
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This time I’ll be quick: three factors contributed to this epic cake which just, JUST might be almost as good as the St Louis gooey butter cake.
One: I had some marzipan left over in the freezer from Christmas time. What to do? Marzipan buns no doubt - but I also thought about Simnel cake, willing the time to seem closer to Easter than to Christmas and yes, marzipan layer in a cake, why not.
Two: The Weather Man really, really, REALLY loves glace cherries. I think they’re disgusting personally but the things we do for love…
Three: buttermilk cake mix is the kind of cake a two year old with their arms tied behind their back could whip up, blindfold. Note: this is not endorsing child abuse.
Result: stunning. Just try. And don’t you DARE use shop bought marzipan!
cherry and marzipan cakeServings: one loaf cakeTime: a couple of hours
- 110g groundnut or rapeseed oil
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarb of soda
- 160 ml (170g) buttermilk
- 12 glace cherries, halved
- 10-12 dried sour cherries
- For the marzipan layer:
- 100g ground almonds
- 100g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
1. To make the marzipan, put the ground almonds, icing sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Mix with a spatula, gradually adding the lemon juice, until the marzipan is smooth with a doughy consistency. Form a ball or a sausage shape on a surface liberally dusted with icing sugar, wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf tin.
2. To make the cake batter, mix the oil and sugar in a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Add the flour, salt and the bicarb of soda and mix in – the mixture will resemble wet sand. Add the buttermilk and mix into a greasy, smooth lump of dough. Stir in the glace and the dried cherries.
3. Roll the marzipan through the cling film to a rectangle the size of the loaf tin - I used half the amount so the cake wasn’t overpoweringly sweet; the rest will freeze well for another occasion. Spoon half the cake batter into the tin, place the marzipan layer on top and cover with the rest of the cake mix - it needn’t be smooth or even.
4. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin, dust with icing sugar before serving if you like.