As I mentioned on Twitter at the weekend, cake decorating really isn't my forte. At all. I won't even pretend to be nearly good at it. I'm sure I could be if I tried however I haven't got the patience and well, I really don't care about how good it looks if it's just going to be eaten at home. I am a slattern, what can I say.
When a cake tastes this good? It doesn't need to look pretty. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
This cake is delicious - if you like cherry and almond flavouring that is. If you're a fan of Bakewell Tart (not the pudding, bleurgh) then chances are this cake will be right up your street. Every time I take a bite I do a big MMMMMMMM. I'm not blowing my own cake trumpet or anything but it ROCKS.
My version of this cake is quite almondy (is that a word? it is now) as I like it to be quite flavoursome but if you're not so keen I'd reduce the almond extract to 1/2 tsp.
I love this cake for the simplicity of being able to bung it all in a bowl or mixer - it takes no time at all.
Cherry & Almond Victoria Sandwich
For the cake;
200g butter, well softened
200g golden caster sugar
100g ground almonds
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp almond extract
4 large eggs
For the filling;
jar of morello cherry conserve
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
drop of vanilla extract
For the top;
175g icing sugar
5-6 tsp water or lemon juice
1 tbsp ready-toasted flaked almonds
Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line the bases of two 20cm round sandwich tins.
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl or cake mixer and beat them together until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the two tins and level the tops. Bake in the oven for around 30 mins until they are golden.
When the cakes are ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before taking them out and leaving them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Whilst the sponges are cooling, prepare the buttercream. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and vanilla extract. When the cakes are cool, put one sponge onto a serving plate and then spread with the jam. Take the other sponge and spread with buttercream and then sandwich the two halves together.
Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl and add the water (or lemon juice if you prefer). Stir until smooth and thick, then spread evenly over the top and let it dribble down the sides. Scatter with the toasted almonds and decorated with halved glace charries. Leave to set.
Well leave to set if you can wait that long...but I recommend you do, it's nicer when the icing is a bit firmer.
I've found that morello cherry conserve or jam can be quite hard to find however I now know that Waitrose stock it so I'm rarely without a jar in the cupboard!
Mmm tea and cake! Who cares if there's about 10,543 calories per slice?