Cherry almond loaf cake

Notes: from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. I'm not sure what glace cherries are, so I use the dark cherries that you can get in a glass jar from Trader Joe's. This is quite possibly my favorite cake ever. It's also incredibly easy and fast to make.

Preheat oven to 325 F

1 cup natural-colored glace cherries
1 2/3 cups self-rising cake flour
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2-3 drops almond extract
1/2 cup ground almonds
6 tablespoons milk

Halve the cherries, wash them in a colander under cold water, then pat them dry, toss them in some flour, and shake well to get rid of excess. (I don't halve the cherries or toss them in flour, and the cake comes out fine.)

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond extract, then gently fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds. (I use more almond extract than the recipe calls for, and sometimes I add vanilla and rum.) Fold in the cherries, then the milk and spoon the thick mixture into a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan, lined and buttered. I like to sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar on top, which melt and make a sort of icing effect. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 325 F, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 8 to 10 thick slices.

13 June 2007