Cherries are currently on offer in the supermakarkets, so what better time to make a cherry cake than with the luxury of real cherries! If you can't find them though, tinned cherries will do just fine. This cake is loaded with chopped and toasted almonds and is really nice as a desert as well as snack. In the recipe you will see that there is an option to add cherry jam into the sponge to create a marbled effect, now I haven't tried this yet but I think that this touch will make the cake extra special. The glaze on top makes it look good enough for a patisserie window (and also stops all the nuts from falling off!)
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan oven. Grease and base line a 25cm loose bottomed tart tin with greaseproof paper. Dust the sides with flour and tap off the excess.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the ground almonds then mix together. Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined.
If you are using cherry jam, spread half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin, then spread the cherry jam over the top. Top with the remaining mixture, then drag a skewer through to create a marbled effect with the jam. If you are not using jam, just spread all of the mixture evenly into the tin.
Scatter the cherries over the top, followed by the chopped almonds, then sprinkle the cake with a tablespoon of granulated sugar. Bake for 45minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool a little then transfer onto a wire rack.
To give this cake a shiny glaze, simply boil the sugar and water together for about 4 minutes until it just starts to reduce, then immediately drizzle it all over the cake using a spoon. Leave to cool then enjoy.