Many years ago, I attended a two day course in a musty basement office in the beautiful Georgian New Town of Edinburgh.The purpose, content and usefulness (or lack thereof) of the course is now lost to memory; clearly it didn't make much of an impression on my twenty-something self, but I do have a couple of memories of those two rather lengthy, summer days.
The first was a distinct, prickling discomfort at my comparative youth and inexperience comapared to the other attendees; the second was hearing the word 'Gestalt' for the first time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I haven't heard it dropped into everyday conversation often in the intervening years, but the basic principle of 'The whole being greater than the sum of its parts' did come to mind this week when I made several batches of plain, simple, yet undeniably delicious cherry buns.
There is something about the ratio of sightly crisp outside, to soft cakey inside, that makes it almost impossible to eat only one. Studded with bright glace cherries (none of your natural dye cherries here, please), piled on a plate, these are lovely at any time of day. Derek has eaten a few with coffee for breakfast, and the rest of us have enjoyed them with tea or cold milk any time of the day or night. The boys have also had them with custard as a pudding. A batch of twelve will disappear in half an hour in our house, but if there are any left the following day, a slighty stale bun dipped in a cup of cold milk is a real treat. Much more so than it should be. Very Gestalt in fact.
The recipe is taken from the curious but highly appealing 'Taste Ye Back' by Sue Lawrence
55g Lurpak Spreadable (the original recipe calls for margarine: the choice is yours)
55g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
110g Self Raising Flour, sifted
100g Glace Cherries, quartered (unwashed)
Lightly brush a 12 hole bun tin with melted butter and dust with self raising flour. Shake out excess. (Please use a bun tin or fairy cake tin, anything deeper will not give the lovely outside/inside ratio that makes these so delicious).
Preheat oven to Gas 4/180c.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Break in the egg and mix well.
Add the sifted flour and mix well until fully combined.
Add the cherries and mix until well distributed.
Divide the mixture evenly between the bun holes.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown.
Tip the buns onto a cooling rack. If you prepared your tin well they should drop out easily, with a tap on the tray from an oven-gloved hand if necessary.
Allow to cool before eating or storing in an airtight tin.