Interrailing and Cherry Bakewells.

The past week and a bit has been full of surprises for me. The official end of my Canadian application has fallen through, thank you very much IEC for losing my application. Although a bit of an inconvenience, it’s actually turned out to be a positive thing, surprisingly. So instead of travelling one country, I’ve decided to travel thirty. Yes, The Damson Tree is hitting Europe via Interrail for six weeks to gain some awesome knowledge to drop on you. Wow, that really sounded like an advert, apologies. 

A photograph I took on my camera phone last time I went to Prague…one of the many places i’m going back to!

But onwards! I won’t dwell on the personal bit too much here because I’ve got some other sexy things to talk about today, but I thought I’d let you know there will be a bit of a change to the way I’m blogging over the latter parts of the Summer. So if you have any requests or questions, best to send them now before the 25th July!  

The reason I gave a bit of a heads up about the travelling, is partly because of the changes, but also because of the choice of recipe i’m giving you today. I thought I’d choose something that embodies all of my English-ness before I go. So I guess I should just dive right in. It’s super simple to make!

Jess’ Almost-Bakewell Cake
175g caster sugar
175g butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g self raising flour
80g ground almonds
Small handful of cherries, stoned and halved
Half a regular pot of cherry jam (I used Wilkins & Son’s Ltd. Black Cherry Jam), warmed
10 Tblsp Icing Sugar
2 shots of Disaronno Amaretto (if you have it laying around, don’t go out especially for it)

– Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/gas mark 4 and line yourself a nice, reasonably sized square tin! These are going to be rich little almond-jammy squares not big hunks of cake!
– Cream the butter and the sugar together real quick until relatively fluffy, add in the vanilla and then the eggs in one by one, mixing in between.

– Add in the sifted flour and stir lightly in until almost fully incorporated.
– Stir in the almonds and one shot of Disaronno. 
– Spread a thin layer of the mixture across the bottom of the square tin and chuck a few of the fresh cherries onto the top, followed by big spoonfuls of the warmed jam.
– Roughly cover all the cherries and the jam in the rest of the mixture and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes. You’ll probably be closer to 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it because it can catch like a bitch in under a minute!
– Leave it to cool for five minutes in the tin, then pull it out onto a wire rack, keeping the greaseproof/silicone mat attached for now.
– This bit is entirely optional now, if you like it plain, you’re very welcome to keep it plain and it’ll taste lovely, but if you like it with a little icing on top, make the icing. 
– Mix the icing sugar with the Disaronno (add a little at a time to stop it from getting too runny), if by the end of it it’s still thick, add half teaspoons of water until it’s relatively thin, you’re not looking for a massive thick layer, just a thin drizzle really. 
– Pour it over your cooled cake and leave it to set for half an hour until you cut it up into little squares. Have a cup of tea, have a sit down, watch an episode of Futurama, you know, chill out.

And that’s about it really, you can decorate it with whatever you like, I happened to have made some sugar cherry blossoms which fit quite nicely with it, but it’s entirely up to you.