Cherry and Almond Slices
Great for afternoon tea, these little slices are moist, beautiful and simply divine.
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 tsp 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 mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until slightly risen, pale golden in colour and firm to the touch.
Cool on a wire rack and then I turn my cake upside down so that the base of the cake is uppermost and I have a completely flat surface for the icing.
To mix the icing sift the icing sugar into a bowl then add the almond extract and boiling water just 1 tbsp at a time, stirring really well until you achieve a thick yet runny smooth icing. Take 2 tbsp of the icing and colour green and set aside. Pour the remainder of the icing over the cake and smooth to the edges. Leave to set.
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 30 minutes after decorating. The cake will then slice cleanly.
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