Cherry and Marzipan cake with orange blossom syrup
Hello! Happy Easter. It's taken over a week but I finally feel like my cold is dwindling. I'm sick of having a snotty nose and hacking cough all day and through the night. Fingers crossed I've shaken it off. I've been planning to make this cake for a few weeks now, even hoping to have it baked and posted on here before now as it's so perfect for the Easter weekend. It's stuffed full of marzipan (which screams Easter feasting to me!) and is the perfect treat to indulge in with a mid-afternoon cuppa. The marzipan is floured as are the cherries, but I still found that they sunk to the bottom of the mix. But you know what? It totally works in this cake because you end up with this gorgeous, chewy marzipan-y layer right at the end which is simply heaven. Enjoy. x
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
185g golden caster sugar
zest of one lemon
2 tsp orange blossom water
4 large free-range eggs
150g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g marzipan, cut into 1cm cubes, tossed lightly in flour
300g cherries, stoned, finely chopped, patted dry and tossed lightly in flour
50g shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, lightly toasted in the oven
icing sugar to dust
for the syrup:
juice of one orange
splash of orange blossom water
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
Heat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease and double line a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Set aside. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl with the sugar and lemon zest for 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the orange blossom water.
Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then stir through the flour, almonds and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Stir through half the marzipan pieces and half the cherries, then transfer to the prepared tin and poke in the remaining marzipan and cherries, making sure they’re just covered by the cake mixture.
Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the heat to 160°C and bake for 50-60 minutes more. Check after 30 minutes; if it’s looking dark, cover the top with foil. It’s cooked when a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
About 5 minutes before the cake has finished cooking, make the syrup. Put all the ingredients in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has melted. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and drizzle over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t leave the cake to cool on the base of the tin or the bottom will be soggy.
When ready to serve, roughly chop the pistachios, scatter over the top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.
Recipe is adapted from here.