Line the base and sides of a baking tin with baking paper. Sprinkle a quarter of the nuts over the base of the cake tin, spreading them evenly.
Drain the cherries well and reserve the juice. Beat the butter and castor sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold in the flour, baking powder, sour cream and milk. Carefully spoon a layer of the batter over the nuts in the baking tin.
Top with half the cherries, then cover with the remaining batter. Bake in a preheated oven for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
Make the syrup while the cake is in the oven. Heat the juice from the cherries with the castor sugar and the spices. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice, honey and rose-water, and remove from the heat. Strain the syrup, add the remaining cherries and set aside.
After removing the cake from the oven, allow it to stand for five minutes. Turn it out onto a serving platter and remove the baking paper. Use a skewer to make a few holes in the surface of the cake, then spoon the syrup and cherries over it, allowing the syrup to soak in. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and serve on its own, or enjoy warm with cream or custard as a dessert.
Text and image: Ideas magazine
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