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Cherry and Almond Cake

Ground almonds give an unbeatably moist texture and delicate flavour to this cake, and juicy glace cherries make it even more tempting. Don't buy too large a quantity of ground almonds at a time, as they quickly lose flavour once the pack is opened.

ingredients

makes 12 slices
275 g (10 oz) glace cherries
225 g (8 oz) butter, softened
225 g (8 oz) caster sugar
6 eggs, beaten
65 g (2 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
pinch of salt
175 g (6 oz) ground almonds
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) almond essence
icing sugar, to decorate

method

1. Grease a deep 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. Grease the paper.

2. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the tin.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, adding a little of the flour if the mixture shows signs of curdling.

4. Sift in the remaining flour and salt, then add the ground almonds and almond flavouring.

5. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 1 hour, until firm to the touch. Cover with greaseproof paper if browning too quickly. Leave in the tin to cool. When the cake is cold, remove from the tin and dredge the top with icing sugar to decorate.

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