Friday, 9 September 2011

Cherry Focaccia and Cherry Drizzle Loaf Cake




This week, I've been converted to the joys of using cherries in baking. I never liked them much eaten just as they are, they either tasted sour to me or didn't taste of anything at all. Probably I've been buying the wrong ones. But pull out the pips and make a cake with them and they transform into ruby red little bursts of sweetness. I love them.

Cherry Drizzle Loaf Cake

I made this, the Fruit Drizzle Cake from Good Food magazine last month, but instead of the recommended blueberries, peaches or plums I made it with cherries! It was a huge hit with everyone including the children and had a kind of retro touch to it. I mean, cherry cakes are a bit retro and old fashioned, aren't they?



Some cherries you put in the cake, and then you have to crush the rest of them a bit and leave them in some sugar for the drizzle part - to spoon over the cake after baking. If I was making this again, I probably wouldn't do the drizzle part and just leave it as a cherry cake. The sugar went crunchy, and made the top of the cake go a bit soggy. But hey, I was the only one complaining, while everyone else stuffed their faces.... and it does look really pretty...

It would be lovely with some custard or cream, served warm from the oven too.




Cherry Focaccia

This I made after I found Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef in one of my charity shop cookbook trawls. You make a basic bread recipe and once you've left it to prove and then knocked it back, you basically roll out the bread and press stoned cherries into it, tucking them in deep into the dough as you go. Leave it to prove and double in size for the second time and then sprinkle with sugar and pop in the oven. I've frozen ours into wedges to bring out for a breakfast treat, warmed in the oven with a little more vanilla sugar and milky coffee. I have to say that there is a world of difference between eating this cold and eating it warm - cold it just tastes like bread with slightly soggy cherries in it. Warm, you get the full yeastiness of the bread, a little crunch and the cherries taste so sweet. *sighs, and trundles off to the freezer to dig out an icy wedge and stick the oven on....*


Do you like cherries? What do you cook with them?