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Old 05-19-2006, 08:27 AM   #1
Executive Chef
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,977
Sponge with pistachios and almonds and fresh cherries

Cherry Sponge with Pistachios and Almonds
This moist cake has a light yogurt filling, which tastes really good with ripe cherries.

250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour, sifted
100g shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
200g ground almonds
250g Total* - 0% fat Greek yoghurt
400g cherries, washed, pitted and halved, reserving a few whole cherries for decoration
1 tbsp icing sugar, sieved, to dust
*(Total is a Greek yoghurt brand – unsure whether or not it is exported beyond Europe, though – any 0% Greek-style yoghurt would probably be OK).

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a deep 23cm-diameter cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg, a little at a time, until it is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. If the mixture starts to curdle a little, simply add a spoonful or two of the flour and carry on adding the egg.

Fold in the flour, pistachios and ground almonds. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread the yoghurt over the base. Scatter over the halved, pitted cherries. Sandwich with the remaining half of cake. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with the reserved whole cherries. Cut into slices using a sharp knife.

You can substitute tinned or bottled fruits that have been drained well for fresh cherries. The unfilled cake will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container. Once filled, eat within a day.

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