Remember this picture from last year??? Yep! It's that time of the year again, the Toddster's Birthday! He is like a good cheddar that just gets better and better with age. He is 73 years young today and doesn't look a day over 63, seriously! It must be all that TLC I give him!
Last year I baked him a delicious Buttermilk Spice cake, which he truly enjoyed, but that really isn't his favourite cake.
Every year I ask him what kind of cake he would like and he always says fruit cake, and so I have fruit soaking in some brandy at the moment so that I can make him one of those, but I also made him his second favourite of all cakes, a Cherry Almond Cake.
It's a delicious family type of cake . . . a teatime cake . . . a buttery rich cake that is chock full of candied cherries and almonds . . . with a scrummy ribbon of marzipan running through the middle of it.
Oh, this cake is just perfect for celebrations of any kind . . . wonderful for tea parties . . . luncheons . . . and birthdays. (Well, if you're a Todd at any rate. I'd still pimp for a chocolate fudge cake myself.)
It's a great cake though and everyone who shares a piece of it loves it. It's not as pretty as a traditional type of birthday cake, but it's what the Toddster wants and so it's what the Toddster gets.
I don't know what I'll make him for supper . . . he has only one request . . . that it not be pasta.
*Cherry and Almond Cake*
Makes one 8 inch round cake
This is a delicious family/teatime type of cake. It's dense and buttery and chocker block full of delicious cherries and almonds.
8 ounces butter, at room temperature (1 cup)
8 ounces golden caster sugar (1 cup plus 2 TBS)
4 large free range eggs, beaten
8 ounces self raising flour (2 cups)
8 ounces glace cherries, chopped (1 cup)
4 ounces ground almonds (1 scant cup)
2 to 3 drops of almond extract
9 ounces marzipan (a generous 1/2 pound)
2 ounces flaked almonds (1/2 cup)
sifted icing sugar to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F. Butter a deep 8-inch round baking tin and line the base and sides with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the eggs, a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour one third at a time. Fold in the cherries, ground almonds and almond extract, mixing all in until evenly combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared tin.
Roll the marzipan into a 7 1/2 inch round. Lay this on top of the batter in the tin. Spoon the remainder of the batter over top.
Smooth over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon and then sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, covering with foil after the first hour if it appears to be getting too dark. The cake is done when it shrinks away from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Optional: Dust with icing sugar to serve
Over in the Cottage this morning there are some delicious Chicken Fried Pork Chops!