Fresh cherries and lime cake

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Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake
Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake

I Had fresh cherries in the fridge. What was I going to do with them while they were fresh and deliciously juicy? Make a Cherry Lime Cake of course. Well I have never done this version of flavours before, but now that I’m getting my eye in I think this could be a winner. I love cherries. A couple of years ago we went to the Ficksburg Cherry Festival with our good friends Pam and Trevor. We decided to piggy back the trip on the annual Ficksburg Cherry Festival MTB challenge.

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This is a 40km mountain bike ride over some very tricky terrain and finishes across a floating bridge to the cheers of the adoring fans. Well that’s what I like to think. I felt exhilaratingly exhausted once done, but 4 minutes into the race I wanted to cough up my lungs desperate for oxygen. This was a high altitude race and I hadn’t acclimated yet having only arrived in Ficksburg the day before. I was fit at the time and didn’t think 40km was such a stretch, boy was I wrong. This was an entirely different fitness that my lungs have never forgiven me for. It felt like 100km. When in Ficksburg do what the Ficksburgers do, have a cherry pit spitting competition. This was the sole preparation I gave my lungs the day before the cycle.

Cherries and Spitskop – this is where we stayed outside Ficksburg
I wonder if Spitskop was named after this competition

I lined up in a straight line on the edge of the verandah and proceeded to spit the pip as far as possible. I’m competitive! Suddenly I was thinking of a strategy on how I could tip my head at the correct angle to create the perfect trajectory. At the same time I was forming a perfect tongue capsule around the pip ready to launch like a missile. I stood on my tiptoes in the hope that my vertically challenged stature could stretch me 6 foot tall. With all the breath I could summon from the bottom of my lungs I gave the blast off to my tiny little pip. I bent over double with side-splitting laughter, banging my hands on my knees as I soon realised my poor little pip had gone as far as my toes.

Regardless of my embarrassment, I fondly recall this trip every time I buy fresh cherries. They are expensive here in South Africa so I only buy them in season. If you are lucky enough to live in a cherry growing area I hope you will give this recipe a try. If you aren’t as lucky, you can still give it a try. I don’t recommend you substitute with the mushy canned variety. These cherries must be fresh. Enjoy and may you have a wonderful last month of 2021! Oh, by the way cherries can boost exercise recovery. It’s an added little health benefit. So get on your mountain bikes and go find a path less beaten

Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake

Tender crumb with plump cherries makes this cake a winner
Servings 8
Oven on at 170ºC 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 300 g fresh cherries pitted
  • 100 g burnt Honey
  • 1 Tbls lime juice (1 lime weighing about 70g will do for cherries and glaze see below) reserve zest for flour before juicing
  • 1 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 10 drops almond essence

Dry Ingredients

  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 110 g Self-raising flour
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 20 g coconut dessicated
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 4 Ex L eggs lightly whisked
  • 200 g unsalted butter melted

to finish

  • 30 g flaked almonds lightly toasted half for decoration half for batter
  • 1 Tbls burnt honey for glaze
  • 1 Tbls lime juice for glaze

Instructions

  • In a bowl add the cherries along with the next 4 ingredients. Let them sit to macerate while you get on and mix the rest of the batter
  • In a separate bowl add the almond flour, Self-raising flour, caster sugar, coconut and salt. Whisk to ensure all the ingredients are mixed together. Add the lime zest to the flours rubbing it in to release the oils
  • Mix the eggs into the cooled melted butter and pour over the flour mix. Fold in to ensure there are no lumps. Hold a sieve over the batter and pour the macerated juice into the batter holding back the cherries.
  • Stir to ensure the juices are properly mixed into the batter. Fold in 3/4 of the cherries reserving the rest for the top of the batter.
  • stir in half of the slivered almonds
  • Pour the batter into a prepared 22cm baking pan lined with baking paper.
    Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cherries and almond flakes on top of the batter pressing down gently so they stick into the cake. Bake in preheated oven for 50 min. Check with skewer after 45 to ensure cake in cooked.

Glaze

  • While the cake is in the oven mix the honey with the lime juice. As soon as cake comes out of oven baste the cake with the glaze until it is finished. Leave in the pan for 15 min on a wire rack to cool before removing the cake from the pan
  • Serve with double thick yoghurt and a swirl of burnt honey and a light dusting of icing sugar and sprinkle of almond flakes
    Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake
  • Fresh Cherries and Lime Cake
Course: baking, Sweet
Cuisine: fusion
Keyword: almonds, burnt honey, cherries, lime

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