Since the first time I saw these cakes in one of the Waitrose publications I fell in love with them. They had this wonderful spring feel. Appealing to the eye, and hopefully to the taste too.
I had never worked with marzipan before – believe me, that was true then, but I decided to give it a go. I even got the nasty glace cherries. I completely loathe them. I always wonder how something as wonderful and delicious as cherries can be turned into this ghastly tasting thing. However, I decided to pretend not to care about them and get my cakes done. After all they had a role to play. The whole cake doesn’t take very long to prepare. They look so cute when ready to go into the oven that I couldn’t wait to see the final result. Once ready I couldn’t wait to prepare my cup of tea and enjoy the first bite. They are lovely cakes. The sort of thing you want in the middle of the afternoon, when a nice cup of tea is asking for company.
Sugar High Friday held by Monisha, seemed a perfect occasion to post them over here. A perfect celebration of what is to me one of the most wonderful seasons – spring. After all the dark, cold wet days of winter there comes this fabulous time of the year when colours are everywhere, we feel rejuvenated, ready to do loads of things. What most wonderful than little daisies?
Little Daisy cakes
200g butter, softened – plus a bit extra to grease the tins
200g white marzipan at room temperature
75g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
5 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract
200g glace cherries
25g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven – 150oC, gas mark 2. Generously grease 20 holes of muffin tins.
Cut the butter and marzipan into cubes and place in a large mixing bowl with the caster sugar. Beat with an electric whisk until pale, fluffy and completely combined. Sieve the flour into the marzipan mixture, add the eggs and beat together. Stir in the milk and almond extract. The cake mixture should have a soft dropping consistency.
Wash the syrup from the cherries, pat dry with kitchen roll, and then cut in half. Reserve 20 of the halves and stir the remaining cherries together with the sultanas, into the cake mixture. Spoon the mixture evenly into the 20 holes in the muffin tins. Arrange the flaked almonds on top of each cake and place one of the reserved cherry halves in the centre to make a flower pattern. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are light golden, and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.