Cherry & Almond Madeira Cake

prep Time 1¼ hours, depending on machine, plus cooking
  • 75 g (3 oz) dried black cherries
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) apple juice
  • 175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 225 g (7½ oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 g (3½ oz) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Put the cherries and apple juice in a small saucepan and heat gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes until the cherries have plumped up slightly and the juice has been absorbed. Leave to cool.

Lift the bread pan out of the machine and fit the blade. Put the ingredients, except the cherries, in the pan, following the order specified in the manual.

Fit the pan into the machine and close the lid. Set to the cake programme. After about 5 minutes use a plastic spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides and from the corners of the pan. Scatter the cherries into the pan once the cake is evenly mixed.

Test the cake after 1¼ hours by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean the cake is ready. If not, cook a little longer or complete the programme.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Serve dusted with extra sugar.

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