Friday, February 02, 2007

the cake that refused to go away

Cut and Come Again (with resolutely imperial measurements)

1/2 lb self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 round tsp mixed spice
4oz butter or marge
4oz demerera sugar
30z currants
3oz sultanas
1oz mixed peel
2oz glace cherries, washed and chopped
2 eggs + enough milk to make the liquid up to 1/2 pint
grated rind of an orange (add this to the milk and eggs)
7 inch cake tin

Grease and line the tin (always my job aged about 8). Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (moderate, or 350 F.) Rub the butter or marge into the flour and other dry ingredients until it looks like breadcrumbs. This is very satisfying but if you are in a hurry I think you're probably allowed to use a mixer these days. Stir in the sugar and the fruit, then add the egg and milk mixture with the orange rind and beat until you have a smooth batter (which is full of fruity lumps, obviously). Pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle a little more sugar over the top (for the crunch). Cook in the centre of the oven for about 1 hr 20 mins (it's worth checking after an hour if you have a fan oven). Once cooked, remove from the tin and stand on a rack to cool. In other words, have a slice while it's still warm, it'll give you indigestion but it's delicious.

Cake cooking is generally best accompanied by something on Radio 4. I recommend 'Just a Minute'. Plays are also good, but you'll have to find something else to do in the kitchen after the cake so that you can hear the end. If Radio 4 is unavailable,
Radio 2 will do at a pinch but it'd better be Jimmy Young.

Happy cooking!

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