The Great British Bake Off
Mary Berry Cherry Cake Recipe
Last week saw the start of The Great British Bake Off, and along with many thousands of others, I sat transfixed as the start of series five started to unfold. As the twelve contestants started to bake their way through week one of “Cakes”, with a Swiss Roll for their signature bake, a Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake for the technical challenge, and then some perfectly formed miniature cakes for the final show stopper challenge……personalities started to show and tears started to flow. Claire was the first to go, shame as I loved her bubbly personality and I thought she was streets ahead of Iain, who cut his Swiss roll to make it “roll better” only to have the whole thing crack……but that’s the nature of the beast that is The Great British Bake Off.
I am eagerly awaiting the next programme this Wednesday when it’s time for Biscuits, as this “sneak preview” trailer shows! It’ll be interesting to see who crumbles and who manages to stay together after being dunked in a cup of tea…..and I cannot wait to see Enwezor’s Rocket Biscuits……however, I am still in a bit of a trance about Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake, and as soon as the programme was over last week, I decided to enter the technical challenge myself and bake this delectable looking cake for an afternoon treat this week – plus this was my grandmother’s favourite cake. So, did my cherries sink and were my almonds burns and bitter? Was my icing too slack and did I manage to turn out my cake in one piece? No to the cherries sinking and the almonds burning and no to any slack icing too, but a resounding yes for turning out my cake in one piece, it seemed I passed the technical challenge with flying colours……..albeit in my own kitchen that is!
I had to tinker with St Mary’s recipe, I hope she forgives me, as my savarin mould was a lot smaller than the size that was suggested in the recipe; so, I altered the measurements to fit my tin and hallelujah, it worked like a dream! My icing was a bit thick too, but as it was made with lemon juice in the style of a lemon drizzle cake, I was happy to have more of it than less of it……I DID remember to save some cherries for the decoration, and two slices of this were enjoyed today with a cuppa. The texture was light and crumbly, probably due to the addition of the ground almonds, and the lemon zest added a lovely tang to the cake and offset the sweetness of the cherries.
Whereas Mary Berry is a British National Treasure, the cherries were unashamedly French and from Provence in the South of France. I was sent these lovely French Glacé Cherries to use in my baking, and they were an essential part of this cake, with it being a cherry cake of course! It takes about 10 days for a tray of fresh cherries to become glacé cherries. This is achieved using a gentle, unhurried process perfected by French confectioners over the centuries. It is this that gives French Glacé Cherries their unique quality and taste, and they are also naturally red, as no dyes are used to colour them. You can buy French Glacé Cherries in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose and these plump little scarlet beauties are truly delicious.
My adapted recipe is shared below, but if you want to make a bigger cherry cake, then Mary’s original recipe is here: Cherry Cake. That’s all for today, I will be back with my next Singapore traveller’s tales, as well as a new giveaway and some new kitchen news! This is also my entry into the Euphorium Bakery campaign, where I join in with five other bloggers to enter a cake (or a bake), which will be judged by John Whaite, winner of the GBBO 2012. (The prize is a £299 coffee machine package) Wish me luck! See you soon, Karen
Disclaimer: I received some French Glacé Cherries to sample and I was not asked to promote them here, but I chose to highlight them as I think they are a quality ingredient.
As this cake would be perfect for a picnic, I am entering it into Tea Time Treats for August as the theme is
I host this challenge every other month with the lovely Jane!
Technical Challenge 2: