Bake Off Bake Along: Week 8 - Cherry, Marzipan & Pistachio Cake

If you haven't already guessed I wasn't entirely enamoured with Tudor week. I didn't fancy making a pie, knotted biscuits or fussing around with twiddling some marzipan over a cake. So I took it upon myself to boycott Henry VII and made a cake instead, with marzipan baked in. Sorry Henry. But...this cake is super moist as it uses ground almonds, and is the perfect balance to the cherries and pistachio. 

I couldn't find any fresh cherries in my local supermarket so opted for frozen ones and left them to defrost and dry out, before a good flour coating in a bid to stop them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as much as possible. I even added some on the very top, but they still sunk a little. Any tips to stop this baking experts?

C H E R R Y,   M A R Z I P A N   &   P I S T A C H I O   C A K E
(Recipe adapted from Delicious, serves 12)

300g cherries, pitted and finely chopped
150g marzipan, chopped into small chunks
150g self raising flour, plus 1tbsp extra
225g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1tsp almond extract
4 eggs
100g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
50g pistachios, roughly chopped
icing sugar to dust
  1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees and grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin.
  2. Mix both the marzipan and cherries with the 1tbsp of flour, this will help them to not sink in the cake during baking. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gently fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Fold in half of the cherries and marzipan and pour into the prepared springform tin. Add the remaining cherries and marzipan on the top and gently press into the top of the mixture.
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes before turning down the heat to 160 degrees and baking for a further 50 minutes. Once cooked, a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool fully.
  7. Top with chopped pistachios and dust with icing sugar to finish.

F O L L O W   M Y   B A K E   O F F   B A K E   A L O N G...


Week 1 - Jaffa Cakes
Week 2 - Iced Doughnut Biscuits
Week 3 - Chocolate Twist Babka
Week 4 - Giant Churros
Week 5 - Cherry Bakewell Tart
Week 6 - Brownie Bottomed Coffee Mousse Cake
Week 8 - Cherry, Marzipan and Cherry Cake

Bake Off Bake Along: Week 7 - Brownie Bottomed Coffee Mousse Cake

The weeks have flown past and tonight marks the semi final. After some time away its time to dust off the mixer and get back in the kitchen.

Last week's dessert challenges saw a heap of recipes I've never tried before. The aim is to try something different and whilst I didn't strictly do that, I did try and make smaller delicate versions of my usual monster brownies.

These brownies are soaked in coffee syrup, topped with a layer of caramel and a head of coffee mousse. Not suitable for your lunchbox but perfect for a make ahead dessert. One of those that you can do in stages. Brownies last up to 5 days in the fridge and you can make the mousse up to 1 hour before serving - just leave enough time for it to set if you want to slice it neatly.

I'm silently pooping myself over tudor week. I guess all will be revealed in just a few hours time...hopefully nothing too challenging!!

B R O W N I E   B O T T O M E D   C O F F E E   M O U S S E   C A K E
(Makes 24 small, or 12 large servings)

For the brownie base:

3 eggs
275g caster sugar
175g salted butter
300g dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa solids)
pinch salt
175g plain flour

For the coffee syrup:

50ml strong hot coffee
25g caster sugar

For the caramel layer:

I halved this recipe

For the coffee mousse:

4 eggs, separated
150g golden caster sugar
4 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water
2tbsp instant coffee
120ml hot water
220ml whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks

  • To make the brownies, heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a square brownie pan. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined. Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water, remove from the heat, add the salt and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs and sugar once more until the mix turns pale and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate and gently whisk once more. Using a metal spoon or spatula, fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Once cooked, the top should be shiny, but there will still be a little movement in the centre of the brownies which will firm up as it cools. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan.
  • To make the coffee syrup, stir the sugar into the coffee until melted. Poke holes over the surface of the warm brownie and pour over. This will soak in as it cools. Once fully cool, place in the fridge to firm up fully and make it easier to slice.
  • Follow the caramel instructions, or use a jar of shop made and spread an even, thin layer on the top of the unsliced brownies.
  • To make the coffee mousse, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and creamy. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water and squeeze out any excess. Add to a further bowl along with the coffee and water and mix until the gelatine fully dissolves completely. Combine the coffee mixture with the egg yolks and mix well. Add half the whipped cream and gently fold in and alternate with the egg whites. Once everything's folded together, pour over the brownies and leave to set for at least an hour in the fridge before serving. Or blitz in the freezer for extra slicing help.
  • Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder and some cream.

F O L L O W   M Y   B A K E   O F F   B A K E   A L O N G...


Week 1 - Jaffa Cakes
Week 2 - Iced Doughnut Biscuits
Week 3 - Chocolate Twist Babka
Week 4 - Giant Churros
Week 5 - Cherry Bakewell Tart
Week 6 - Brownie Bottomed Coffee Mousse Cake
Week 8 - Cherry, Marzipan and Cherry Cake