I'm not going to pretend it was all plain sailing. It's tough and it seems ridiculous that people cry over cake but you know it's not really about that bake, it's being in that tent and proving to yourself that that you are a worthy of being there.
I loved my time in the tent. Mary is the most wonderful human being, as beautiful inside as out. Paul is genuinely an amazing baker who taught us all loads. As for Mel & Sue well they are like Fish & Chips. You can't imagine one without the other, they are funny, kind and always hungry! The tent truly would be a much sadder place without them. And last but not least the crew, they were fabulous.
225g Stork margarine or unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond extract or Amaretto syrup
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
20 glaze cherries
7 tablespoons raspberry jam
150g Icing sugar
Amaretto syrup or almond extract and water
50g toasted flaked almonds
8 glaze cherries
You will also need 2 x 20cm sandwich tins, greased and the bases lined with buttered baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 170c
In the bowl of a free-standing mixer cream the Stork and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond extract. Add the flour and ground almonds and mix until light and fluffy.
Divide equally between the prepared sandwich tins, spread level, stud the surfaces with the 20 cherries and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 22-25 minutes until golden and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the middle of the cakes.
Turn the cakes out of the tins onto a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.