Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake – An Adventure

Hi, guys and dolls!

I’m mixing things up a bit on the blog. Instead of just talking about writing, I’m going to be sharing tidbit, anecdotes, and the like of things I find interesting. This week’s interest should come as no surprise: BAKING!

For Easter this year, I made one of Mary Berry’s famous recipes: a big ol’ cherry cake, complete with lemon icing and toasted almond slivers.

If you don’t know who Mary Berry is, well, you must not have seen the early seasons of The Great British Baking Show. It’s what it sounds like: a baking competition with Mary Berry (and Paul Hollywood) as judges.

Anyway, Mary’s recipe is published on the PBS website, all units converted from metric—yay! I have the cookbook it’s originally in, but would have had to do all the converting myself—yeck!

One of the more complicated things about making this beautiful bundt was finding the UK-ish ingredients. Caster sugar? Amazon for $11 per 5-pound bag—ouch! Glace cherries? Around $7. Then there was the problem of the self-raising flour. Now, self-raising flour is different from self-rising flour, the latter of which we use here in the USA and contains baking soda and salt, not baking powder as the UK twin (I think. Don’t quote me on this.) So I found a site that wrote out how to make your own self-raising flour, and I did just that.

One of the secrets of making the cake awesome-looking is this: chop each individual cherry into fourths, rinse thoroughly, dry thoroughly with a paper towel, and coat in two tablespoons of the flour from the required amount for the recipe. Why? Well, it keeps the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the pan while your batter is baking.

Speaking of batter, this mix is thicker than batter. It reminded me of a really wet scone-dough if that makes sense. And I’m still not sure if I should have greased the bundt tin, as I didn’t get a very good rise on my cake. Ah well.

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One discovery that I made: Irish butter is the best butter to use in baking. It’s so darn TASTY! I mean, higher butter-fat content, so what else should I expect? And it’s oh-so dreamily creamy—mm!

The cake itself was well received…by mom. My sister does not like dried/candied fruit, my aunt is too polite and honest to comment, and no one else but I ate any of it. My opinion? I baked it too long. It was dry and mealy, and the lemon was overpowering.

Still, like most things in life that don’t quite go our way, it was a good experience makes for a fun story told ‘round the campfire, preferably with a semi-burnt wad of marshmallow sandwiched between melting chocolate and two crisp halves of graham cracker.

Excuse me. I’m off to make myself a sweet snack…

Keep your nose in a book,

Beth

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Author: bethovermyer

Beth Overmyer wears several hats, all belonging to different writers. From fantastical kidlit to everyday popular fiction, Beth pens her work with gusto. In 2008, her screenplay The Method won best comedy at Gotham Screen’s contest, and in 2012, her MG book In a Pickle came out from MuseItUp Publishing.

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