Cherry & Ricotta Crumble Cake

When I was growing up, Sunday was baking day,  well Sunday afternoon actually. Once our usual feast of lunch was cleared and us kids were pottering around, my mum would find her way back to the kitchen again and just bake. I can totally relate to this as the kitchen is my happy place too, even when I cook for a living. Baking gives me a lot of creative freedom in the kitchen and this fabulous cake is the product of that. It’s moist, utterly delicious and has contrast in texture that makes it both a pleasure to cook and eat. There are a few ingredients here but don’t let that deter you, it’s not a difficult cake to make, and trust me when I say it will taste spectacular.

SERVES 10-12

What you’ll need:
400g cherries, pitted
1 orange, juiced & zested
300g firm ricotta
2 tbs icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 egg
175g unsalted butter, melted
150g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
3 eggs, at room temp
125ml milk, at room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
Crumble Topping
60g cold unsalted butter, diced
60g plain flour
50g caster sugar
60g almonds, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon

What to do:
Preheat oven to 160°C Fan.  Grease a 24cm springform tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.

Place cherries and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes until cherries begin to soften. Strain cherries and reserve cherry syrup. Set cherries aside to cool.

For crumble, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in caster sugar, almonds and cinnamon and set aside.

For the sponge, place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until pale and combined (about 2 mins). Pour into prepared cake tin and smooth the top.

Place ricotta, icing sugar, egg and 1 teaspoon of orange zest in a bowl and mix well to combine. Dollop evenly over cake batter then arrange cherries evenly over ricotta. Sprinkle with crumble mixture and bake for 50 minutes until golden and cooked in the centre of the cake. Cool completely in cake tin before transferring onto serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with reserved cherry syrup.

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