Saturday, 18 May 2013

Cherry and Almond Mini Loaves

I have been longing to use this mini loaf baking tray for a while and was trying to come up with a good bake to go with it. Looking through my leftover winter baking ingredients I found marzipan and glacé cherries that needed to be added to a cake at some point. The sponge mix recipe is the one I always bake but instead of caster sugar, I creamed the egg yolks with the marzipan. It's really quick to make and you could substitute the marzipan with ground almonds and caster sugar and add any other dried fruit too.

4 eggs separated
100g golden marzipan, chopped
8 heaped tbsp plain white spelt flour (or plain white flour)
4 tbsp water
2 tsp baking powder
few drops of almond extract
200g natural colour glacé cherries, chopped
confectioner's sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 180C. Separate the eggs and mix the egg yolks with the marzipan until really smooth and creamy and pale in colour. Add the water and almond extract and mix until smooth again. Add the baking powder and mixing it slowly add the flour a spoonful at a time. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and very gently fold into the sponge mix a third at a time and mix until light and fluffy. Do not over mix as the air will have to stay in the sponge to get it light. Add the cherries and gently mix, leave a small handful to scatter on top. Grease the baking tray with butter and line with baking parchment each one generously. Divide the mix between the mini loaf spaces, it should fill them 3/4 full. Scatter the rest of the cherries on top and sprinkle with white crystals of confectioner's sugar. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. These loaves freeze well too. Defrost completely and crisp up in a hot oven for 5 minutes before serving.