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Cake Lady: Chocolate Cherry Crumbles

PUBLISHED: 16:15 16 May 2016

Chocolate Cherry Crumbles by Carol Kearns

Chocolate Cherry Crumbles by Carol Kearns

Carol Kearns

This month The Cake Lady tells us how to make these yummy biscuits perfect for treating yourself

This is a super quick and easy recipe, yet the resulting biscuits couldn’t be more delicious. I would go so far as to say they are foolproof - but I realise that I say this with years of baking experience behind me and having had the advantage of learning to bake with my mum on hand to answer questions like “Should it look like this?” and - hardest of all - “Is it cooked?”

This was brought home to me the other day when a friend told me about her young goddaughter who is just starting to learn how to bake. Her goddaughter had taken a cake out of the oven and was about to test it with a skewer when the three adults present all cried in unison “That’s not baked yet!” The cake returned to the oven, they all separately explained why they knew it wasn’t cooked - my friend could tell by its smell; her goddaughter’s mother could see that it wasn’t cooked, and her father simply knew it hadn’t been in the oven for long enough. I would probably have added that it didn’t sound cooked - I’ve noticed that if a cake isn’t cooked through you can hear it bubbling away inside when you first take it out of the oven.

I have probably found judging when cakes or biscuits are cooked the hardest aspect of baking to master. Like a lot of things, it has come with practice but it helped enormously having my mum’s guidance when I first learned to bake.

To provide something similar, I’ve recently developed a new website www.theartofbaking.co where you’ll find photographs of the key stages of each recipe together with some simple tips aimed at making baking easier. You’ll soon be able to access all my cake recipes from last year but, in the meantime, take a quick look on the site to see how my version of these chocolate cherry crumbles turned out.

Chocolate Cherry Crumbles

Makes nine

125g softened butter or baking margarine

50g caster sugar

75g self-raising flour, sifted

115g porridge oats (not jumbo)

50g glacé cherries, quartered

25g dark, milk or white chocolate, chopped

You will need

1 baking sheet

butter for greasing or non-stick liner

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark four/fan 160C and lightly grease the baking sheet with butter or line it with non-stick liner.

2 Beat the butter and sugar together, either with a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric mixer, until light and fluffy.

3 Stir in the flour, oats, quartered cherries and chopped chocolate with a wooden spoon until it forms a rough dough.

4 Divide the dough into nine equal portions. Use your fingers to roughly shape the mixture into a ball and place on the baking sheet leaving room for the biscuits to spread. Flatten the biscuits slightly with your fingers.

5 Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the biscuits are pale golden around the edges but still slightly soft in the centre. Leave on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6 These will keep for several days if stored in an airtight container.

The uncooked dough will keep for a week in the fridge or for up to three months in the freezer: store in a plastic bag and defrost before using.

Carol Kearns is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. See more of her illustration work at www.carolkearns.co.uk

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