When using gluten-free flour you need to add more liquid and also add ingredients that will compensate for the lack of gluten - in this recipe I've used one of my favourite flours - Dove's Farm self-raising flour, which already contains Xantham Gum so I've only added a little extra gum to the recipe. I've also added some glycerine - this keeps cake moist. You'll notice from my photos that my cake has no flaked almonds on top - this was because we took the cake to some friends we were visiting for the weekend and I thought their children could have nut allergies - it turns out they didn't! I've included flaked almonds in the recipe so your version can more accurately reflect Mary's.
280g unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for greasing the tin)
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 tspns glycerine
320g gluten-free self-raising flour (plus extra for dusting the tin and cherries)
1/2 tspn Xantham Gum
1 tspn gluten-free baking powder
200g glace cherries (set aside four cherries for decoration)
handful of toasted flaked almonds to decorate
150g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Generously grease the ring cake tin, then dust with a small amount of flour, shaking out the excess.
2. Rinse the glace cherries and cut into quarters. Dust with a small amount of flour.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing briefly in between each one until combined.
5. Add the vanilla and glycerine to the butter/sugar/eggs mixture.
6. Sieve all the dry ingredients together, then carefully fold half of it into the wet ingredients. Add half of the milk and mix before folding in the rest of the dry ingredients, then the remainder of the milk.
7. You should now have quite a wet loose batter.
8. Fold in the glace cherries.
9. Scrape the mixture into the tin and level the top.
10. To prevent the cake drying out you can wrap the edge of the cake tin in some folded newspaper secured with string (as you would for a fruit cake).
10. Bake at 180 degrees for 1 hour. Test to see if it is cooked - it is cooked if the top springs back when pressed lightly and if a skewer comes out clean. If not quite ready, cook for a further 10 minutes and re-test.
11. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Place a cooling rack on top of the tin and turn over to turn it out, tapping the tin if it is stubborn. Let the cake cool completely before decorating.
12. Mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar until it reaches a semi-stiff icing - if too loose it will run off the cake as you spread it on top. Decorate with the cherries you held back (eeek if you didn't!), and lightly toasted flaked almonds if you wish.
To make this cake dairy-free replace the butter with a dairy-free spread - I recommend Vitalite margarine, and the milk with rice milk. To make this recipe egg-free replace the eggs with the correct amount of egg replacement powder - follow the instructions on the packet and mix with water before adding to the butter and sugar.