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[Recipe] Cherry Almond Marzipan Cake

12311822_10153852651367160_543051224_o Today was my Mother-in-law’s birthday and she wanted to have pizza with her kids, so my sister-in-law hosted us, brother-in-law picked up pizza, and I offered to make a cake. I asked if there was anything in particular she wanted, and she said to surprise her. After thinking about what I knew she liked (Marzipan) and some browsing on Pinterest, I found this cake, showed it to Tim, and he thought his mum would like it. Off I went to Tesco for ingredients…..to discover Tesco was OUT of glacé cherries! In fact, I found out from a friend who works for Tesco that Tesco had issues with the supplier, so NONE of the stores had any! Fortunately, there is an Aldi on the same road as Tesco, so I called in there and found stacks of them (and purchased three containers to be safe!). So, if Tesco hasn’t fixed their issue, you can find the cherries at Aldi. I also purchased a jar of cocktail cherries in case I couldn’t find the glacé, so I bet those could be used in a pinch (but I would drain and pat them dry).

One tip the original recipe suggests is tossing the cherries in a little bit of flour before mixing them in as it will keep the cherries from sinking. I did this, but I’m not sure it really made a difference because once the cherries touched the batter I felt like the coating disappeared. However if I had needed to use the cocktail cherries, I think I would have coated them.

When I took this cake out of the oven, it looked like a mess. Honestly. It looked awful. And after it had cooled off, it felt very dry, so I wound up poking holes in the top with a fork and drizzling over it some of the juice from the jar of cocktail cherries. If you don’t have any and you need to moisten the cake, you also could thin a teaspoon of jam with some boiling water and use that. It didn’t need a lot of liquid, maybe only about 2 teaspoons worth, but I do think that helped. I also thought about using some cherry kirsch, but with one family member pregnant and one breastfeeding, I wanted to keep alcohol away.

This cake also has an incredibly high calorie and fat content due to the almonds. The website the original recipe was on pegs it at just under 400 calories per serving, but doesn’t state how many servings the cake serves. There are 8 of us, so we divided the cake into eight. Slimming World, what slimming world? haha.

This was only my second time working with marzipan (the first being the Battenburg cake), and my first time ever coating a cake with marzipan, because the Battenburg is rolled to wrap it, not draped. So now I can add draping a cake with marzipan to my list of kitchen skills I never thought I would have.

Cherry Almond Marzipan Cake

You will need:

150g butter, softened (I used Stork)
150g caster sugar
2 extra large eggs
150g self-rising flour
150g ground almonds
25g flaked almonds (optional and approximate)
1 tsp almond extract
200g glacé cherries
25g self-rising flour (optional, for coating the cherries)
400g marzipan (divided into 150g and 250g pieces)
1 TBS cherry jam (or any flavour you happen to have)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8-inch (20cm) round cake tin with parchment paper.
2. Take 100g of the cherries and cut them in half. Save one half of a cherry for decoration at the end. Coat cherries (both halved and whole) in flour (optional).
3. Cream together butter and sugar. Add almond extract and add eggs one at a time.
4. Alternately mix in flour and ground almonds until mix is smooth.
5. Put away the mixer, and grab a wooden spoon and stir in the cherries. Set mix aside.
6. Roll out 150g marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper and cut it into an 8-inch round (use the cake tin as a guide).
7. Fill the tin with HALF the batter, level off, and carefully place the 150g disc of marzipan on top of the batter. Cover with remaining batter.
8. Bake 45-60 minutes. It’s hard to tell when this one is done, because a toothpick inserted will likely grab onto the marzipan, but the top of the cake will go golden. If you think the bottom isn’t cooked yet but the top is, cover the top with some foil to keep it from burning (this is the reason my cake dried out a little I think)
9. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 20 minutes, turn out, and cool completely. I left mine overnight.
10. Roll out the 250g piece of marzipan between two sheets of parchment paper until it is 10-12 inches in diameter (27-30cm). You will want the marzipan sheet to be slightly bigger than the size of your cake.
11. Microwave the jam for 30 seconds just to let it go runny and brush over top and sides of cake.
12. Carefully transfer your marzipan round on top of the cake, smooth down the sides, and trim. I did need to make a few patches towards the bottom because it didn’t quite reach. If you’re worried about presentation, you could wrap a ribbon around the cake to cover your mistakes!
13. Place the half cherry you saved in the middle, and artfully arrange the almonds (optional)

Everyone who tried a piece loved it! Which is great, because I was really nervous about this one, and this morning I debated trying to make a new cake and debated dividing the batter between two cake tins and then sandwiching the cakes together with marzipan instead of baking the marzipan into the middle, but it worked out and I didn’t need to. Good thing too, as I had very little sleep last night thanks to a hacking cough keeping me awake!

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1 Comment so far

  1. plasterer bristol March 1st, 2016 16:35

    mm yummy, this with a big pot of tea. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Simon

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