In Murder Among the Roses, there is a character who supplies my heroine and her children with cakes – in particular, the best cherry cake you have ever tasted.
I was on "tea" duty at my local WI a few weeks ago and I had to make a cake and I went for a cherry traybake. It's not fancy but I promise you it is luscious and if the even if the cherries do sink to the bottom it's still a treat. Here's the recipe...
225g (8oz) red or natural glacé cherries (I use the lovely dark red natural morello ones) You can use fresh cherries. I never have but I suspect they will sink to the bottom but be delicious.
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) softened butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
75g (3oz) ground almonds
5 large eggs
25g (1oz) flaked almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
Grease a 30 x 23cm (12 x 9in) traybake or roasting tin then line the base with baking parchment.
Cut the cherries into quarters, rinse under running water and dry thoroughly. (I wash mine in hot water the day before to make sure I've got rid of the all the sticky stuff and ensure they are really dry.)
Weigh all the rest of the ingredients, except the flaked almonds, into a large bowl and beat until you have a creamy mixture. Fold in the cherries as lightly as you can.
Put the mix into the prepared tin and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin. It should spring back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips.
Leave it to cool in the tin.
I confess that my cherries sank to the bottom, but it was a delicious buttery moist cake.