Cherry and Almond Slices
Great for afternoon tea, these little slices are moist, beautiful and simply divine. This cake batter is very thick which is necessary to prevent the cherries sinking. The cake is not dry thanks to the addition of ground almonds. This cake easily converts to gluten free.
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees c (fan)
Start by prepping the cherries. Wash the cherries then cut each one into eighths. Dry them on kitchen paper then dust in flour. Simply place them in a small bowl and add 1 tbsp flour. Stir them around so that each cherry chip is covered. This will prevent your cherries sinking to the bottom of the cake during baking.
In a large roomy mixing bowl whisk together the soft butter or margarine with the sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time whisking well between each addition. Fold in then the flour, ground almonds or almond flour and almond extract and when everything is well combined stir through the cherries.
Transfer the thick mixture to the prepared tin, smooth out and bake for 30 minutes until slightly risen, pale golden in colour and firm to the touch.
To mix the icing sift the icing sugar into a bowl then add the almond extract and boiling water just 1-2 tsp at a time, stirring really well until you achieve a thick yet runny smooth icing. If you are doing cherry decorations – Take 2 tbsp of the icing and colour green and set aside. Pour the remainder of the icing over the cake and tilt from side to side until the surface of the cake is covered. Leave to set or for a simple decoration use sugar sprinkles over the icing before whilst wet.
Decorate with green coloured icing for stalks and tiny red coloured marzipan or fondant rolled into tiny balls for the cherries.
Tip : To cut really clean slices freeze the cake for 15 minutes after decorating. The cake will then slice cleanly.
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