Friday, 27 February 2015


“I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.” - Pablo Neruda

We had an old family friend from Croatia. When we used to visit her home for afternoon tea she made an old fashioned cherry cake that was from the region of Zadar in Croatia. This is the famous place in Dalmatia where the liqueur maraschino is made from marasca cherries. The small, slightly sour fruit of the marasca cherry tree (Cerasus acidior), which grows wild along parts of the Dalmatian coast, lends the liqueur its unique aroma. No wonder the cake had glacé cherries in it!

We asked for the recipe and she gladly gave it to us. We have since then called this cake, “Cake Stenga” from the first name of our friend – however, you can call it “old fashioned cherry cake”!

225 g of unsalted butter
225 g of caster sugar
225 g of self-raising flour
125 g of glacé cherries
1 tbsp maraschino liqueur
4 eggs
zest of half an orange

Beat the butter in an electric mixer bowl until it well creamed. Add the sugar and zest, continuing to beat until dissolved. Add the egg yolks one by one. Fold in the egg whites well beaten into a stiff meringue. Stir in the liqueur, little by little while folding the mixture. Add the sifted flour, folding in well and last, the cherries, which you have halved and tossed in flour.
Place the mixture in a buttered cake pan, and bake in a moderate oven for about one hour, until golden and a skewer stuck in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream flavoured with maraschino liqueur.

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