I think I've had this particular cake tin for about three years and in all that time I've never used it. Every Christmas I would promise myself to use it but alas, I would find an excuse not to. My major fear was having the cake stick and break in that highly decorative mould.
This year it was about time that I kept my promise and I'm very happy that I did! The original recipe is from Home Beautiful and uses frozen raspberries, though I've used cherries (and increased the quantity) - you could easily replace them for your favourite fruit.
Cherry Butter Cake
½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
1 cup cold water
600 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
250 grams butter, cut into cubes, softened
300 grams caster sugar
400 grams frozen cherries
icing sugar, for dusting
Place the bicarb and water into a jug - stir until dissolved and set to one side.
Sift the flour with the cream of tartar into a bowl and set to one side.
Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring they are well incorporated before adding the next.
Using a metal spoon, alternately add the flour and water mixture to the batter, gently stirring until combined.
If using frozen berries, rinse them briefly under water to remove any ice crystals and then add them to the batter. Fold them gently through the batter.
Although the mould I used is non-stick, I did still butter and flour it.
Spoon the mixture into the mould - after filling, I banged the mould on the bench to make sure there were no air bubbles.
Place the tin on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 170°C/320°F oven for about 1 to 1¼ hours or until golden and cooked through. If you find the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and lower the oven temperature.
Let the cake stand in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out.
When cool, sprinkle over with a light dusting of icing sugar.
Can I cut you a tree?