First bake: cherry and almond muffins

Cherry and almond muffinsCherry and almond. Almond and cherry. It’s one of those pairings you just can’t go wrong with (unless you don’t like cherries or almonds, of course. In which case, get out of here!). I’ve dabbled in cherry and almond bakes before, such as this cherry Bakewell cake, but wanted something simpler to make on a sweltering weekend.

I slightly adapted a recipe I found online to make these. I really wanted to bake with fresh cherries so I was pleased I found a muffin recipe that uses them, but I wanted to add an extra dimension flavour-wise by chucking in some vanilla extract and flaked almonds. I also have no idea what ‘baking liquid’ is, so I just substituted that for butter.

Cherry and almond muffinsThe muffins were very easy to make and came out perfectly – delightfully fluffy and saturated with gorgeous cherry and almond flavours. I don’t think they would have been half as good if I’d used glace cherries!

You could substitute the cherries for similar fruit like blackberries, blueberries or blackcurrants. But the cherries work wonderfully with the almonds! Of course, you could also swap the almond flavour for something else, such as hazelnut or coconut – this is definitely one of those recipes where you can experiment without much going wrong!

The recipe

Makes 12

  • 175g butter, melted
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 250g cherries, stones removed and quartered
  • 50g flaked almonds
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper cases.
  2. Beat together all of the ingredients except the cherries and flaked almonds, until fairly smooth.
  3. Fold in the cherries and almonds and stir gently (don’t overmix, or your muffins won’t rise or be nice and fluffy!).
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack and dust with a little icing sugar.

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