NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Seasonal Recipes -

This cake is a lovely cel­e­bra­tion of the first cher­ries of the sea­son and a won­der­ful fin­ish to a fes­tive menu. Stone cher­ries by gen­tly crush­ing them un­der a glass, or by split­ting them with a sharp knife. You can make the cake the day be­fore, then gar­nish it just be­fore serv­ing.

INGREDIENTS • 100g un­salted but­ter • 150g caster sugar • 4 large eggs, sep­a­rated • 200g flour • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der • 1 ta­ble­spoon brandy (or cherry brandy if you can get it) • pinch salt • 700g fresh firm cher­ries, stoned, plus ex­tra to serve • ic­ing sugar and dark choco­late to gar­nish • mas­car­pone to serve

METHOD But­ter and flour a 20cm spring­form cake tin. Pre­heat the oven to 180°C.

Beat the but­ter and sugar to­gether un­til light and creamy. Beat in the yolks, one by one, fully in­cor­po­rat­ing each be­fore adding the next one. Also add a lit­tle of the flour after each yolk, to help pre­vent the mix­ture from cur­dling. Sift the re­main­ing flour and bak­ing pow­der to­gether then fold into the yolk mix, along with the brandy.

Whisk egg whites with the salt un­til soft peaks form. Fold the whites through the yolk mix­ture.

Spoon bat­ter into the tin, scat­ter­ing in some of the cher­ries as you go. Sprin­kle re­main­ing cher­ries over the top then bake for 40 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. If the cake is brown­ing too quickly, cover with foil.

Re­move from the oven and al­low to cool in the tin. Once cool, turn out then dec­o­rate with sifted ic­ing sugar and grated dark choco­late. Ar­range the ex­tra cher­ries around the cake then serve with mas­car­pone. Celia Har­vey/cui­sine

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