Mary Berry cherry cake recipe kicks off the technical challenges on Great British Bake Off 2014 series 5

The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens tonight for the fifth series of the popular BBC baking show.

The twelve contestants – Chetna, Claire, Diana, Enwezor, Lian, Jordan, Kate, Luis, Martha, Nancy, Norman and Richard – are all hoping to impress Paul and Mary with their baking skills in their bid to claim the Great British Bake Off 2014 title and take their baking to the next level.

However, tonight they face the first of the technical challenges of the series, Mary Berry’s cherry cake recipe. The cake is topped with glazed cherries, almonds and icing.

Mary and Paul will be looking for a golden brown sponge with even distribution of the cherries from each of the bakers.

to prepare the dessert, preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm bundt tin or savarin mould with butter.

Cut the cherries into quarters. Set aside five of the quartered cherries for the decoration later. Put the rest of the quartered cherries in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper and toss in two tablespoons of the flour.

Measure all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for two minutes to mix thoroughly. Lightly fold in the cherries. Turn into the prepared tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

For the icing, mix the icing sugar together with the lemon juice to a thick paste. Drizzle over the cooled cake using the back of a spoon, sprinkle over the toasted almonds and reserved cherries.

The recipe is one of many that can be found in Mary’s latest baking book Simple Cakes avaliable from Amazon.