It took a while, but I got there in the end with this recipe and beautifully detailed cake. It wasn’t so much the cake recipe, which I adapted from the Nordicware recipe card that came with the Snowflake tin, but getting it out of the damn tin.
I had an idea to adapt the almond cake recipe by adding some dried cherries soaked in Amaretto (which, by the way, are awesome on their own). It just felt more festive. Once I had fiddled with the batter amount and worked out the optimum quantity of cherries and soaking liquid, I thought it would be easy to pop the cake straight out using homemade goop (it works on other bundt and detailed pans). But this was not to be. This pan is on a different scale of difficulty to remove cake from.
I made it again, coating far more liberally with goop: fail. Then I looked on the internet for advice and it said you should only use a small amount on detailed pans like this, so I tried that. But that also failed.
I could see other people using this pan and releasing their cakes whole and beautifully detailed on social media, so I knew it wasn’t impossible. But it was so frustrating.
My friend, Jersey Jackie, knew the difficulties I was having with this cake. I mentioned that I had heard of Baker’s Joy, a spray release that is made and recommended by Nordic Ware for their more detailed pans. In this country it ranges from £6 to £40. Jackie responded in horror when I told her this, knowing that it sold for about $2 in her supermarket. She was the best friend a baker could have because she bought me two cans and posted it over (though we suspect we may be sent to postal hell for posting them). I was prepared to give it one more shot before sending the beautiful pan to the charity shop. And I wouldn’t have persevered if the actual cake hadn’t tasted so good.
And, so, after four or five failed attempts, I finally managed to release the delicious cake from the tin completely intact, and smelling delicious.
So, would you like the recipe? This cake would make a great cake for the festive period, even an alternative to rich fruit Christmas cake. Serve it with lots of berries and some fresh cream, and you have a light desert that has all the flavour of Christmas.
And if you don’t have the snowflake tin, just bake it in a 7″ round tin. Sprinkle with icing sugar and berries at it will be equally as Christmassy.
Cherry and Amaretto Almond Cake
Start the day or evening before you want to bake the cake so that you can soak the dried cherries in the Amaretto. They should absorb all or almost all of the liquid, but drain them before tossing in the flour before baking to be sure that they are not too wet.
100g of Dried Cherries
50ml of Amaretto
115g Soft Butter
200g Caster Sugar
2 Medium Eggs, gently beaten
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extact
1 Teaspoon of Almond Extract
200g Plain Flour
50g Ground Almonds
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
A Tablespoon of Icing Sugar to sprinkle over the finished cake.
- Spray your tin with Baker’s Joy and pre-heat your oven to 180C (or 160C if it’s a fan oven). If you are using a regular baking tin, grease and line as normal.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the Vanilla and Almond extract and quickly beat in.
- Add the Baking Powder and Ground Almonds to the Plain Flour and sieve.
- Slowly add the beaten egg to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, beating well between additions, adding a teaspoon of the flour mixture to avoid curdling each time.
- Once all the egg is added, fold in one third of the rest of the flour, baking powder and ground almond mixture.
- Now fold in a third of the milk. Repeat, alternating between the dry mixture and the milk.
- Toss the drained cherries in a tablespoon of flour.
- Put the batter in the tin, then add the floured cherries, pushing some in to the batter and leaving a few on top. This is less of an issue if you are using a regular tin, but you really don’t want the cherries to sink to the bottom of the snowflake tin and get stuck to the details.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean. If baking in a 7″ round tin, it may take longer.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes. Time this and don’t guess otherwise that cake may not pop out of the tin.
- After 10 minutes, turn the cake out upside down on a rack to cool.
- Once cool dust with icing sugar and serve as you please.
I am so glad that I stuck with this cake because the finished cake is so damn pretty. And there is no fancy decoration required at all; just a sprinkling of icing sugar.
I hope you give it a try and enjoy it too.