Saturday, 12 April 2014

Loaf Cake Part 2 ~ Cherry Bakewell Loaf

So here it is... Part 2!
Today I am sharing with you the second fro my two-part loaf cake blog posts from the two loaf cakes I made for my choir's silent auction at the end of March.  I have had SUCH a hard time deciding which my favourite of the two are.  I mean, the lemon loaf that I wrote up last week is LEMON...  My absolute favourite!  But this Cherry Bakewell inspired almond loaf cake is way up there on my favourites list as well.  Hmm...
Well, I guess the lucky thing is I have this blog, and I usually post once per week, and seeing as it has been a crazy busy week at work, at home, at everywhere that it is actually nice to be able to finish up this short 2-part loaf cake series and I am able to share both with you all... maybe you can help me decide which you think the best one is!!  Keep reading for today's post, but click here to see last week's lemon loaf :-)
In addition to the lemon cake, I also wanted to make a loaf cake that was just a little bit different.  I toyed with the idea of a golden syrup cake, and then that inspired me to go with something British... but a little different.  The idea that sprung to mind then was one of my favourites, a Cherry Bakewell.  I mean you have seen me make these a good few times before, in traybake form.  But this time I switched it up a bit and went with an almond loaf cake, with the same white icing, cherry and sliced almond topping to decorate.  Without the shortcrust pastry you would find in the cherry bakewell tart or the jam layer between, it is a simple take on the classic English treat - in loaf form!  Nice and easy to make, with a delicious looking thick white icing spread on top with, quite literally a cherry (or a few!) on top!!
This recipe will make a standard loaf pan full, as well as 4 cupcakes.  I made extra cupcakes as I was giving the loaf acke away and wanted to be able to try it myself, and actually ended up doing some Easter decorating and created my Eggs in a Nest Cupcakes :-)  Check them out here!
So here goes...
9oz unsalted butter, softened
9oz sugar
9oz self raising flour ~ minus 4 1/2 tbsp ~ you will replace this with the ground almonds
4 eggs
4 1/2 tbsp ground almonds
2 1/4 tsp almond extract
1.  Pre-heat your oven to 375°F and grease and line your loaf pan, and cupcake liners 
2.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3.  Add the eggs, one at a time - beating well between each addition.
4.  Add the almond extract and mix well.
5.  Sift in the flour and ground almonds and mix until combined.
6.  Pour most of the batter into the loaf pan, and then just a small amount (filling just to half-way) in each cupcake case.
7.  Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, but the loaf cake for 35-45 minutes, until browned on top, and cooked through ~ you can test with a cake tester/ potato skewer.
8.  Leave to cool and then you can decorate!
 For the "icing on top"... I use powdered icing sugar, poured into a cup and then just a few drops of water as I didn't want it to be too runny.  I love the idea of a thick spread of the icing, and thing this is a pretty crucial part to the classic cherry bakewells, a crucial part I wanted to keep!  So keep it thick and spread it on generously! 

For added decoration and staying true to bakewell tarts, and cherry bakewells I added sliced almonds (toasted in the oven for just a couple of minutes to brown them slightly) and added them while they were still not completely cooled as this way they would set into the icing...

And then the cherries!  What would a cherry bakewell be without cherries!?  I lined them down the centre so that every slice, you would get a cherry!  ... Or maybe two if you cut yourself a BIG piece :-D

Funnily enough, it was my husband's Aunt who placed the winning bid on this silent auction loaf cake... and she told me the next morning that after the concert she was already digging into the cake on the way home!  She did share it for breakfast the next morning as well! 

SO many of Jonathan's family are almond fans, so I'm sure this cake will be making an appearance again!
Which would you have picked?  My lemon loaf from last week, or the almond cake this week?!  It is so hard to pick my favourite!

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