Bakewell Cake

After much demand from my boss, Belinda, I am finally getting this recipe up here! I made this cake for my predecessor’s retirement as Bakewell tart is her out and out favourite.  I knew I’d seen a recipe for this somewhere but didn’t have time to look it up so I made it up as I went along.  Lo and behold, once I’d got it in the oven I googled it and I had invented the same recipe for a Bakewell Cake as everyone else! Which was reassuring as by that point I was committed!

I was a little bit worried that it might turn out to be dry or grainy because of the ground almonds but it was wonderfully moist and very smooth and delightfully almondy.  It was a big hit!

Makes 12 slices

200g butter (or marg. I’ve recently switched to Stork for baking as the price of butter is just ridiculous!)
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp Armaretto (or almond essence)
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
100g self raising flour
icing sugar
lemon juice
1/3 jar cherry jam
natural glace cherries
flaked almonds

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C.
– Grease two non stick loose bottomed sandwich tins.
– In a bowl (or food processor) cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
– Add the eggs one at a time and beat/whizz until smooth.
– Add the Amaretto and whizz again.
– Add the ground almonds, baking powder and self raising flour and mix/whizz until combined and smooth.
– Divide equally between the two tins and smooth out.  Try to make a shallow dip in the centre so it rises evenly.
– Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.  A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean.
– Turn out onto wire racks and leave to cook completely before icing.

– To make the glace icing take a small bowl and add about 100g icing sugar.  Add lemon juice a bit at a time until the consistency you want is acheived and all lumps have vanished.  You’re going for runny enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so runny that it pours right off the cake, it wants to move slowly and form a ribbon as it comes off the spoon.  I never measure glace icing, I just add a bit more of either lemon or icing sugar til I get it right.
– Spread the cherry jam between the two layers of cake, you may wish to trim the top of one of the cakes to make it nice and flat.
– Pour the glace icing over the top layer of the cake and gently guide it to spread out evenly but not go off the edge.
– Add the glace cherries around the edge.
– Sprinkle flaked almonds in the centre while the icing is wet so they stick.
– Enjoy!

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