Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sour Morello Cherry & Hazelnut Loaf

Sour morello cherries and roasted hazels: its a flavour combination that makes me think picnics in the orchard with the hammock swaying in a warm breeze and a bonfire burning into the dusk. I get a childish pleasure from pushing the cherries higgledy piggledy into the top of the batter, and seeing how the pattern changes when it grows as it bakes. A delicious sweet-sour cake, and popular even with cats. Nico interupted the photo shoot, not to pose for the camera but in a cunning attempt to eat the warm loaf! She was thwarted yet again the poor minx. She's dreaming of the day when she'll get to the freshly baked cake before I do.

My own.
Serves 6-8

150g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g chopped roasted hazelnuts, plus more for optional decoration
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon greek yoghurt, room temperature
100g sour morello cherries

1. Turn the oven to 170C (150C fan ovens). Grease and line a small 1lb loaf tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

3. Add the first egg and the teaspoon of vanilla extract, and beat well.

4. Add the other 2 eggs, beating after each addition.

5. Gradually add the flour and baking powder in 2 stages to the batter. Beat the batter until smooth.

6. Fold in the chopped hazels, before adding the greek yoghurt, and half the sour cherries and stirring gently until combined.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin, smooth down the top and then dot the rest of the sour cherries into the top of the batter, pressing them in lightly.

8. Bake for 45-50 mins. Bake until the top bounces back under your finger and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

9. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins before placing on a wire rack or plate to cool further.

10. Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with some more roasted chopped hazelnuts if you like. Serve cream or creme fraiche on the side. Keep away from cats.

This cake was idly baked while listening to the Tori Amos album Under The Pink