Cherry Cake and the Price of Bacon

8 Jan

Cherry Cake

I awoke on New Year’s Day with a hankering for rashers and cake. Not together of course, as that would be disgusting…?  I reluctantly got out of bed (is there any other way) and we made our way down to the crappier supermarket (the good one being closed). Walking straight past the fruit and veg (nothing of interest there) we manoeuvred our way toward the meat fridge only to be met with a shocking discovery. The price of some of our favourite bacon (the maple kind) had risen by 99 cent. 99 CENT!! That’s a whopping overnight increase of 45.9%. There are few things I care about in this life but good bacon, and my ability purchase and consume said bacon, is definitely one of them. This was a worrying turn of events to say the least. Oh we still bought it of course, but it left a terribly sour taste in the palate (in a metaphorical sense only, those rashers were as as tasty as ever).

With the good supermarket being closed my initial plans for orange and poppyseed cake would have to wait. However before I had time to go into full on strop mode due to how hideously disappointing 2012 had already been, all 14 hours of it, I spotted some glacé cherries. Glacé (or candied) cherries bear little resemblance to the fruit they started out as, but there’s something about their sticky sweetness and brilliantly vibrant colour that makes them undenyingly appealing. They just work so perfectly in a light buttery cake, and this one topped with a simple vanilla icing was gobbled up between the two of us in just under 3 days. Serves 10 my arse! I ate the last slice as I watched Mayra Rosales the fattest woman in the world at 74 stone, being lifted into a u-haul truck through a hole cut into her bedroom wall. I then licked every last crumb from my fingers, held up the plate, and scraped what little remaining icing there was directly into my mouth.

Cherry Cake Sliced

210g (7 1/2 oz/ 1 cup) glacé cherries
85g (3oz/ 2/3 cup) plain flour
90g (3 1/4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
160g (5 3/4 oz/ 2/3 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 (4 1/2 oz/ 1 cup) self-raising flour
80ml (2 1/2 fl oz/ 1/3 cup) milk

125g (4 1/2 oz/ 1 cup) icing sugar
20g (3/4 oz) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease a 20cm (8 inch) bundt tin (or a deep round tin). Dust with flour and shake off any excess. Rinse and dry the glacé cherries and cut each in half. Toss them in a little flour until lightly coated. * This helps prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom during baking *
2) Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the lightly beaten egg, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Use a large spoon (preferably metal) to fold in the sifted flours alternately with the milk. Then gently stir in the cherries.
3) Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
4) For the icing; combine the sifted icing sugar and butter with 1-2 tablespoons of water in a small heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and stir until the butter has melted and the icing is glossy and smooth. Gently stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the cake.

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