This is my version of the classic cherry and almond cake. I always use those dark cherries soaked in kirsch – their flavour is intense and boozy. When I drain the cherries I reserve the syrup to add a sweet kick to my coffees. The crumble topping adds another almond dimension in the form of crunchy amaretti and flaked nuts. This is best served with a dollop of tangy crème fraîche.
Taken from Comfort by John Whaite, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Nassima Rothacker.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
For the cake, cream the butter, sugar, almond extract and lemon zest until lighter in texture and paler in colour. Add the eggs and soured cream and beat until smooth – don’t worry if it curdles – then add the flour and salt and fold together until you have a smooth batter. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and level off.
For the crumble, rub together the flour and butter until you have a breadcrumb consistency, then toss through the sugar, biscuits and almonds.
Scatter the cherries over the cake batter, as evenly as possible, and top with the crumble topping mixture.
Bake the cake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (Apart from the red juice of the cherries). Leave to cool completely, then transfer from the tin to a cake stand or plate to serve.
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