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A super moist and delicious almond sponge, studded with juicy cherries and covered in chocolate and almonds. It will keep for several days – if it lasts that long!


200g / 14 tbsp butter, softened
225g / 8oz fresh cherries, pitted and halved
140g / 1 cup flour
200g / 1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1½ tsp baking powder
75g / 2/3 cup ground almonds
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
200g / 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp toasted flaked almond



Heat oven to 160C / 325 F
Grease a loaf tin
Toss the cherries in 1 tbsp of the flour, then set aside
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk until light and fluffy
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well between each addition
Fold in the remaining flour, the baking powder and ground almonds
Stir in the milk, the vanilla and almond extracts, and half of the chocolate with a spatula
Pour half the cake mixture into the tin, scatter half the cherries over the top, then add the remaining cake mixture and the remaining cherries
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely Melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave in 20-sec bursts, then drizzle or pipe over the top of the cake and scatter with the almonds
Wait for the chocolate to set a bit before slicing