A lot has happened since I last blogged! I have moved from New York to Paris and been here for ten months already! The reality of living here is far different to the dream, and its been a lot of getting used to the French ways which can often be frustrating and and only later when you reflect on some of the comical situations you end up in a it can be a tad amusing with the help of passing time giving you distance from the situation. Needless to say David Leibovitz’s book on Paris and blog really stuck a cord with me and I helped me figure out some French peculiarities. Some I will never quite get I am afraid!
I recently got back from holidays in the south of France in Provence and Tuscany and had not baked in months, I found a bag of frozen pitted cherries in the freezer and had been meaning to try this cake out ever since I got Diana Henry’s great book called “a change of appetite”. This has gone to my top favorite cakes list, it is sticky and moorinsh and finger licking good. I plan to make it with many different fruits like plums, pears, apples, she actually recommends using gooseberries in the book and cherry is the variation.
It’s a pretty quick and simple recipe but I also made it simpler by sprinkling the almonds right on top of the cherries and baked for the full 30 minutes instead of how she sprinkles them on top in the last 10 minutes of baking. Some will sink in the dough and some remain on top. It is really good hot out of the oven, as we discovered (cause my other half could not wait till it cools, the smells in the house were just too good), its also great cold later with tea or coffee, and of course would be great served warm with a good vanilla ice cream for dessert.
The book is great if you like me cannot diet and are a person who lives to eat! I highly recommend this book… specially after eating a lot on your holidays and you feel you need to shed some weight! Great recipes from all around the world and you won’t feel like you are on a diet at all.
- 125g (41.52oz) unsalted butter, plus more for the tin
- 125g (41.2oz) soft light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 50g (13.4oz) wholemeal spelt flour, sifted (can use wholemeal flour if you don’t have spelt)
- 25g (1oz) plain flour, sifted
- 75g (21.2oz) ground almonds (preferably freshly ground)
- 3.4 tsp baking powder
- 350g (12oz) dessert gooseberries (red or green), topped and tailed OR 350g pitted cherries (I used frozen defrosted for an hour and half)
- 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 30g (1oz) flaked almonds icing sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Butter a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin.
Beat the butter and soft light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.?If the mixture starts to curdle, add 1 tbsp of the spelt flour. Fold in the rest of the flours, the almonds and baking powder using a large metal spoon, then scrape into the prepared tin.
Toss the gooseberries with the golden caster sugar and spread them over the top of the cake. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds and return to the oven for 10 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin, then carefully remove the ring and base of the tin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
a cherry version… This is just as good made with cherries. Just pit 500g (1lb 2oz) of them and throw them on to the cake just before it goes into the oven. They’ll be soft in the time that it takes the cake batter to cook. This makes a lovely squidgy cake.