"Life is just a bowl of cherries"
Where I grew up, fresh cherries were non-existent and hence my first taste of this fruit was in the form of glace cherries as a decoration over a fresh cream vanilla sponge and I didn't like the taste of the sticky red jewel on top. I would say this is more of an acquired taste and if used properly can really work well in a recipe.
Preserving fruits is an art which has been practiced by civilizations over many centuries. It dates back as far as the 14th century. It was used to kill the bacteria and other micro organisms to make them last longer. Glace cherries are made from stoned marachito cherries which are soaked in increasing concentrations of syrup, sometimes over several weeks. Mostly chemical agents like sulphites are also used. They contain anthocyanin which has anti-oxidant properties, though the preserving process means most benefits are lost and the calories come mainly from the sugar.
CHERRY AND ALMOND CAKE
Cherry and almonds complement each other very well in this recipe. This recipe (and the tip) also prevents them from sinking right to the bottom. I have adapted this from Mitch Turner's latest book Cake Masterclass which was presented to me by a dear friend. You can judge this book by it's cover.
- Plain flour 225 grams
- Golden caster sugar 225 grams
- Ground almonds 115 grams
- Unsalted butter 225 grams
- Eggs (large) 4
- Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
- Glace cherries 250 grams
- Almond extract 1 teaspoon
- Milk 1 tablespoon
- Demerara sugar 2 tablespoon
- Flaked almonds 2 tablespoon
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 fan). Line and grease with some extra butter a deep 8 inch (20cm) tin.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Mix butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs lightly and gradually add to the fluffy mixture.
Fold in the flour with a metal spoon gently. Add ground almonds, glace cherries, almonds extract, milk and fold one last time.
Spoon the mixture in the prepared tin and level it off. Top it with demerara sugar and flaked almonds.
Bake on the middle shelf for one hour and then cover with foil and bake for another half hour. Cake is ready when springly and a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then turn it out and let it cool completely.
Rinsing the cherries, then pat drying and then using them in the recipe as suggested will prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom.