I have to be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of black forest gateau. I think it’s because it seems like such a 1980’s dessert. I’ve never liked dairy cream either, so the thought of eating a cake that’s so heavily dosed with thick whipped cream has never really floated my boat. However, I am a fan of chocolate and fresh cherries. Very much so indeed! So, when my Mum gave me a punnet of perfectly ripe fresh cherries that needed to be used up I figured I’d have a bash at making a version of black forest gateau that I could actually enjoy.
The other evening I was perusing the Twittersphere and I came across a link to BBC GoodFood’s 28 Classic Cake Recipes, a selection which purported to be ‘timeless old favourites and traditional bakes’. (If you’re interested the link can be found here.)
After assessing the list I was struck by the absence of cherry cake. There’s something quintessentially British about a light, buttery sponge (which we do so well) encasing morsels of fat, sugar-plumped glacé cherry. In my opinion, this is by far the tastiest way to consume these cherries as opposed to plonking them in cocktails or, if it’s Christmas in my household, in a homemade Snowball.
Cherries are listed at this level on the Monash FODMAP app as being moderate (yellow) in fructose, so if that’s a trigger for you I’d advise skipping this recipe. However, you could easily omit the glacé cherries and use 50g of completely low FODMAP dried cranberries in your cake mix instead. One cherry cupcake is a portion.
I had a tub of glacé cherries in the cupboard so I decided to make some cherry cupcakes to take into work for my colleagues. I always think it’s nice to know that there’s something tasty awaiting you when you go for your morning teabreak, or when you fancy a nibble of something sweet after your lunch, or if you need a sugary pick-me-up to go with a revitalising coffee in the afternoon. I think what I’m saying here is that it’s acceptable to eat cake at any time of the day. I’ve not named myself The Fat Foodie for nothing, guys.
All in all, these cherry cupcakes take no time at all to make and are the perfect accompaniment to any break time.
125g butter (or non-dairy version)
100g gluten-free self-raising flour and a little extra to dust the chopped cherries (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp vanilla extract or flavouring
100g chopped cherries (or 50g dried cranberries)
6 halved cherries
Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Put 12 cupcake cases in a bun tray or on a baking sheet.
Chop your cherries into small pieces and mix them with a tablespoon of flour in a bowl so that the cherries are coated in the flour. (This keeps them suspended in the cake mix and stops them from sinking to the bottom of the cakes as they bake.)
Measure your butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and cream together.
Add the 2 eggs and vanilla and mix.
Add the flour and mix. (Gluten-free flour is notoriously dry, so if you feel the cake mix needs a little liquid then just add a little milk or rice milk to loosen it.)
Gently fold the chopped cherries into the mix until they are evenly distributed.
Divide the mix evenly between the 12 cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 12-15 mins.
You’ll know they’re cooked when a skewer poked into the middle of one of the cakes comes out completely clean.
Allow them to cool. When they’re cold, top them with a little bit of icing and a halved cherry.