If you can’t be bothered to make frangipane (but enjoy cherry Bakewells), then you may be interested in what I have to offer.
Makes approx. 20 small (but fat) slices:
- 210g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 210g golden caster sugar
- 210g self-raising flour
- 210g ground almonds
- 3 medium-sized eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Flaked almonds to decorate
For the jam:
- 200g pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
- 150g raspberries (also fresh or frozen)
- 125g caster sugar
First and foremost, pre-heat your oven to 160°C if it’s fan-assisted, or 170°C if you’re stuck in the dark ages. Line a square/rectangular tray with baking parchment in preparation (the one I used was roughly 13 x 9 inches).
You’ll ideally need to have your jam made before you start mixing the cake batter, so I’ll list this in incredible detail as it’s basically rocket science. Weigh out your fruit and caster sugar (not the golden stuff), stick it in a saucepan and place it on a medium-high heat. You’ll need to boil this until it thickens up slightly (about 10 minutes). Be sure to taste the jam before you proceed with the next step – you may need to add some extra sugar if the fruit is particularly bitter.
When it reaches this stage, I would recommend straining this through a sieve (unless you like having raspberry seeds in your jam, in which case I won’t judge you too hard for skipping this step).
Set this aside for the moment, as it’s time to either wash-up or make the cake. If you have a mixer, you can add all of the cake ingredients in at once and stir it a bit until everything’s nicely incorporated. If you’re like me and you don’t have access to this next-gen equipment, cream together the butter and golden caster sugar. Add in your eggs and mix the monstrosity until it looks slightly less monstrous.
Next, add everything else (except for the flaked almonds) and mix until it’s all incorporated.
Measure out half of your cake mix (roughly 500g) and spread this out evenly into your cake tin – using a metal spoon or your fingers is best. This will have an effect on how ‘normal’ your cakes will look when they’re cooked, as this will affect the ‘jam line’ (excuse the scientific term). You’ll then need to take your jam and spoon it over the sponge as evenly as you can – don’t worry if you missed some spots, you won’t notice this when you’re eating it as this will spread out somewhat while baking.
Now comes the horrible part if you’re a self-confessed perfectionist. Distribute the rest of the batter on top of this as evenly as you can. It will be very difficult to even the sponge out without mixing some of the jam in with the cake mix – this however won’t really matter once it’s baked. Sprinkle as many flaked almonds as you like onto the surface – it’s up to you how crazy you go.
Place your soon-to-be cake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes. It should come away from the sides of the pan, but you may need to test it with a skewer to be certain if you’re not confident.
Allow your cake to cool before slicing – I decorated mine with a touch of icing sugar, but this isn’t completely necessary. If you would like to have your cakes be more uniform, you can turn it upside-down while cooling to flatten the top a little. I wasn’t feeling it, so mine are uneven – sometimes rustic is best.