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Coconut Cherry Loaf Cake

Sliced Cherry loaf showing the inside on a wooden chopping board

We are going to make a cherry loaf cake, but before that let’s have a chat about these tiny syrup-filled baubles of cherry sweetness – glace cherries. I had a student at college argue with me once telling me they weren’t real cherries at all.  So of course, we had to make some just to prove it.

You’re going to ask me “how do you make glace cherries?” First, you need some cherries that are ripe but not soft. Then you need a whole lot of sugar. Basically, you start with a sugar syrup. Allowing the sugar granules to fully dissolve, then add the pitted, washed, dry, fresh cherries to the pot.  It takes around an hour of gentle simmering until you’ve basically driven off the water content from the cherries and replaced it with the sugar syrup. These sorts of cherries are mainly used for decoration but we bakers do like to push the boundaries.

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Decorative bright red cherries in a glass bowl.
Glace Cherries

But wait, that’s not why I’m here.  I’m here to help you stop those little bright red cherry bombs from sinking to the bottom of your cakes.

We had a few people in our Facebook group offering advice. Like dusting them in flour and more, I agreed with them all but there’s even more to it. If you toss those little devils just as they are straight from the bag they’re going to sink like a stone.  

How does a commercial kitchen use glace cherries?

We wash, drain, and chop them when we’re using them in cake batters.  

You see, in a fruit cake or plum pudding, they pretty much stay where they are because the mixture is so thick. But put heavy glace cherries in a creamy soft batter that’s full of butter and sugar, and they’re going to sink to the bottom.

Commercially we get our glace fruit in buckets and the cherries are literally dripping with syrup.  We rinse and drain them (depending on the application), to remove the syrup.  In fact, for those at the bottom of the bucket that may have been sitting in syrup for longer, we might soak them for an hour or so to lighten them up (assuming we’re using them in a cake batter).  You see all that extra syrup makes them too heavy to suspend.

How to use glace cherries in homemade cakes

Suspension in the batter mix will be improved by cutting them into smaller pieces (ie. some in ¼’s and some in ½’s). As will dusting them in some of the recipe dry ingredients.

Sliced Cherry loaf showing the inside on a wooden chopping board

Coconut Cherry Loaf Cake

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becs-table.com.au
Follow my method to keep those litte, red glace cherries floating throughout this lovely moist coconut cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Afternoon Tea, Cake, Lunch Box Treat, Morning Tea, Snack or Dessert
Cuisine British, French
Servings 8
Method Thermomix

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon heaped teaspoon flaked salt or a scant ½ tsp of fine salt
  • 30 g desiccated or shredded coconut *See notes
  • 180 g unsalted butter cold and cut into small cubes
  • 280 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten in a small bowl or jug
  • 170 g coconut cream
  • 140 g glace cherries. Washed, drained, and chopped. *See notes.

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 170°c fan, (340°F fan). Grease and line your loaf tin.
  • Weigh your *desicated coconut, flour, and baking powder to the TM bowl and mix MC in 3 seconds/speed 4. Remove and set aside. Don’t worry about cleaning the bowl before moving on.
  • Get your washed, drained, chopped cherries in a small bowl and add a little of the dry mix you’ve just set aside to the cherries. Just enough to give them a dusting then set it aside.
  • Weigh the cubes of cold butter into the TM bowl and mix 30 seconds/speed 6 remove the lid, scrape down and lift the butter from the base of the bowl.
  • Weigh the sugar into the TM bowl (on top of the now softened butter) and mix again for a further 10 seconds/speed 6. Lift and scrape again before inserting the butterfly.
  • Have all your ingredients weighed out and ready to add to the Thermomix.
  • Insert the butterfly now if you haven’t already done so. Set the TM to speed 3, add the eggs in a steady slow stream, stop halfway through, scrape down and lift the mix from the base. If your mix is starting to look a little curdled, add a heaped tablespoon of your dry ingredients now before continuing with adding the egg on speed 3.
  • Remove the lid, lift and scrape. Set the TM back to speed 3 and while the blades are running, through the hole in the lid, add 1/2 the dry mix then 1/2 the coconut cream, then the remaining dry mix, followed by the last of the coconut cream.
  • Line the bottom of your prepared loaf tin with just enough batter to cover it. Then add the cherries into the batter in the TM bowl and gently stir through with a spatula.
  • Transfer the rest of the cake batter to the loaf tin making sure the cherries are even throughout the mix. You can even have a couple of extras to place on top if you like.
  • Place in the oven to bake. At around the 35 – 40-minute mark, I add a paper-lined foil cap to stop over-browning. Mine took around 70 minutes to finish baking, however, I suggest you start checking after 50 minutes. Every oven is different and bake times may vary and checking will give you an indication of how much longer it will take.
  • Test the cake is done by using a skewer in the center of the cake. Once it’s cooked the skewer will come out clean.
  • When the cake is done, take it out of the oven, leave it in the tin sitting on a cooling rack until it’s completely cooled.
  • When cold remove from the tin and decorate as you wish.

Notes

Bec’s Tips:
*I always buy shredded coconut for home, saving on space in the pantry. If I want desiccated, I just blitz it in the Thermomix until it’s the desired texture. You could use a food processor but give it 20 seconds then allow the machine to cool and repeat before going on.
Loaf cakes crack on the top, it’s all about the way the batter cooks off. The sides of the tin heats up and sets the batter in place before the center gets chance to warm through. Once the center starts to warm your raising agent starts doing its job, so it naturally pushes up through the top. Don’t think you’ve done something wrong this is perfectly normal.
If your cakes are a bit hit and miss when making them in the Thermomix I have a course for you.  I explain all my butter cake techniques and why it works in this comprehensive online How To Make Perfect Cakes In Your Thermomix course.  

Want to know more?

Want to learn how to make perfect butter cakes? We have two online courses, one for a stand mixer, and one for the Thermomix. Making perfect butter cakes, unlocks a range of cake baking possibilities.Perfect butter cakes

2 Comments

  1. Bec I made the raspberry loaf yesterday using fresh cherries. (I have a fussy family member who doesn’t like glacé cherries). I halved the cherries. It was delicious, thanks. Hubby took it to his shed group and it was devoured.

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