Happy New Year! As usual, I watched the London fireworks display on TV and, as usual, it made me want to enjoy it in person at some point in the future. Not from the river banks, though, especially now that you need to pay. Rather, from the balcony (or window) of a very tall building with a view on the Thames… Anyway, back on track. Cranberries are generally available in December and January. Because I am not British, they don’t evoke very Christmas-y feelings in me. Rather, I see them as slightly weird berries. That said, they are great in baking because they turn a deep red and they lend whatever you bake a slightly sour note.
I usually pair them up with white chocolate, like in my festive muffins. The sweetness of the chocolate is perfectly offset by the sourness of the cranberries, so every mouthful is a bit of a celebration. This cake works exactly on the same principle, but it uses marzipan instead. As you might imagine, the marzipan melts in the oven into little pockets of sugar and almonds, just pure deliciousness. Serve this cake on its own or with some custard/whipped cream. And why not try ice-cream, too?
- 115g cranberries (fresh is better, frozen is also ok)
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 65g golden caster sugar
- 200g marzipan
- 3 large eggs
- 120g ground almonds
- 120g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 25g flaked almonds
- Put the soft butter and the sugar in the bowl of a freestanding food processor fitted with the paddle attachment, then beat until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one by one, beating well after each addition.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the sides and the base of a 20cm springform tin.
- Crumble or break up/cut the marzipan into small pieces and mix with the cranberries.
- In another bowl, combine the ground almonds with the flour and the baking powder. Gently fold in the flour mixture and the cranberry and marzipan into the butter and egg mixture. Try not to overmix or the cake will be too dense.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Scatter the sliced almonds onto the surface of the cake, then place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden on top and a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, before removing from the tin and turning out onto a cake platter. Dust liberally in icing sugar or serve on its own.