Toasting the ground almonds for this cake enhances the nutty flavour and the oils from the nuts give the cake its moist, rich texture. Decorate with a drizzle of chocolate and more cherries for a real teatime treat!
Makes 10-12 slices
for the cake
- 70g ground almonds
- 165g unsalted butter, softened
- 165g light brown soft sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 medium eggs
- 120g self-raising flour, sifted
- 90g glace cherry halves
- 75g dark chocolate, chopped into 5mm chunks
- 2 tablespoons milk
for the decoration
- 20g flaked almonds
- 20g dark chocolate
- 10g glacé cherries, chopped to a quarter of their size
Make the cake: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4, grease a deep 20cm round tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
In a frying pan over a medium heat, toast the ground almonds, stirring frequently (but not constantly) until they are golden brown. Transfer to a large plate, spreading flat, and leave to cool.
In a bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and almond extract with an electric mixer (hand-held or freestanding) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next. Add the toasted ground almonds, flour, cherries, chocolate and milk to the bowl and fold in until the mixture is smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the surface and bake for 45 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Decorate the cake: melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cooled cake, then decorate with the cherry pieces. Allow the chocolate to set before serving. Store in an airtight container.