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Bring it on, 2011! After watching a quarter of 2010 vanish into the Bermuda Triangle (steroid treatment for four months for a mysterious allergy was no fun – but that’s fodder for another post, and only after much therapy!), I greet the year with hope and optimism and trust you do, too!

I’m hoping to be more regular with the posts this year. Indeed, from today (my birthday), I will have little excuse not to, for my lovely husband, key beneficiary of the naughty or nice things I bake, has bought me my first ever camera-related gadget – a macro lens. Woo hoo! So if you enjoy yummy details, there may soon be bigger and better ones on a screen near you ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

As you may know, I take all the photos in this blog myself – thus far with just the standard lens my Canon digital camera came with, with the food piping hot and un-tarted up. A non-post day usually means poor light conditions, and so, no photo. Obviously a non-post day also means life gets in the way. ย But without photos, I simply can’t bring myself to post. Will a mere (ie. fancy) lens change this? There is always hope.

My subject today is a cherry and almond slice, a confection of fresh fruit sandwiched between a biscuity layer and a cakey layer. This recipe is inspired by the lovingly prepared mouthwatering goodies found in cafes in New Zealand.

Perfect for those undecided between cookie, cake or fruit for dessert, and a sweet note to start a new year on. Or a birthday ๐Ÿ˜‰

For the bottom layer:

Whizz in a processor:

  • flour, 1 cup
  • sugar, 2 tbsp
  • butter, nearly 1 stick (100g)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Turn this crumbly mixture into a lined baking tin and pat down
  3. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven

Middle layer:

  • Jam, homemade or not, 1/2 cup (sour cherry is perfect)
  • Cherries, pitted, 1-2 cups (or mix of cherries and blueberries)
  1. Spread the jam over the warm biscuity bottom layer
  2. Sprinkle the fruit evenly over this

Top layer

  • sugar, 3/4 cup
  • flour, 1/2 cup
  • almonds, 1/2 cup
  • butter, 1/2 stick
  • eggs, large, 2
  • coconut flakes, unsweetened (or sweetened), 1 1/2 cups
  • almond essence, a few drops
  • lemon zest, of 1-2 lemons
  1. Whizz in the processor the coconut, flour and almonds till crumby
  2. Add zest, essence, sugar and process further
  3. Add butter and pulse till resembling breadcrumbs
  4. Add egg
  5. The mixture will now stick together; use two spoons to carefully scrape spoonfuls of batter over the top of the fruit layer. Cover evenly as possible, ignore gaps
  6. Sprinkle the top with a few sliced almonds
  7. Bake for 30-50 minutes till golden brown
  8. Insert a toothpick to ensure the top layer is baked
  9. Remove from oven and cool
  10. Attack with gusto! ๐Ÿ™‚