Thursday, 14 July 2011

French Baking Month: Cherry Crumble Cake

There is really only one French drink that katescakesandbakes feels is suitable to accompany this month of French baking.

It is, of course, Champagne.

The drink of (possibly, my history is a bit vague) Kings. And also perfect to celebrate today's Bastille Day: Viva le France!

Who can resist the popping of the champagne cork and a sparkly, fizzy glass that, if it could speak, would surely yell: 'Drink me! I mean you must be celebrating! Which surely must be a good thing! Whoop whoop!'

And yes, it is true, after a few glasses, there is a greater chance your champagne will indeed speak to you.

I've no doubt Madame Bollinger had the drinking of Champagne down to a fine art, as this illustrious quote demonstrates:

'I asked Madame Lily Bollinger, head of the Champagne house, who is London to declare her 1955 vintage, how she enjoyed her own product. Madame Bollinger replied thus:

''I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it- unless I'm thirsty'''

Daily Mail, 17th October 1961.

This quote was framed in the downstairs loo (almost always home of great framed quotes in any household) of the lovely farmhouse we stayed at in France. 

To celebrate Bastille Day here's a delicious recipe for Cherry crumble cake which we enjoyed on holiday

Cherry Crumble Cake
(Good Food Magazine, June 2003)

140g self-raising flour
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
50g caster sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp milk
85g melted butter
350g ripe cherries

For the crumble topping:
Quarter a tsp ground cinnamon
25g caster sugar
25g butter, diced

1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/180c/Gas Mark 4
2. Sift the flour, spice and sugar into a bowl
3. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk and butter, combining with a whisk or spoon
4. Beat to a thick, smooth mixture and spread into a greased and lines 20cm tin
5. Scatter the stoned cherries over the top of the mixture
6. To make the topping, tip the ingredients into a bowl and rub the butter in to make a crumbly like mixture, which will come together in small pieces
7. Scatter over the top of the cherries
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean
9. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely before tucking in

Baker's notes...
  • This is a great cake to show off this season's cherries
  • Icing sugar can be used to dust if you like
  • Please don't think I drink Champagne in Madame Bollinger style quantities. I drink orange squash in Madame Bollinger style quantities
  • Happy Bastille Day!


  1. Sounds really delicious, sweet, crunchy - can't go wrong!

  2. Yum. I love cherries in cakes, and I love a crumble topping...hence, this cake has made me very happy indeed!


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