Every October I make a Christmas cake and, from the same mix, a small birthday Dundee cake for Peter.
Yesterday was the other half’s birthday and the Dundee was unwrapped.
‘Oh’ says he (who hates icing on cakes) ‘No icing?’ Fortunately I had some Halloween icing decals left over – so this…
Tea and cake, with – naturally – a slice of strong cheese!
Recipe handed down from my Gr-Gran.
Granny Hopcraft’s cake. (make in the last week of October)
1 lb butter
1 and half pound flour (can use spelt flour or else GF flour with xantham gum – in both cases add a little extra milk to prevent it being too dry)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
half teaspoon ground nutmeg
half teaspoon ground ginger
1 lb dark brown sugar
3 lb dried fruit (sultanas, raisins – plus others as prefered eg dried apricots, dates, figs)
4 oz cut peel ( finely chopped)
4 oz glace cherries (roughly chopped)
4 oz blanched almonds (roughly chopped)
2 table spoons honey or black treacle
juice of 1 lemon
half teaspoon vanilla essence
1 large glass of brandy
- At least I week before baking put the fruit in a large screw top jar and add brandy. Turn the jar daily until brandy is soaked in (add more brandy if required)
- Cream sugar and butter thouroughly
- add eggs and flour alternately.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Add a little milk (or brandy!) if needed to make a stiff dropping consistency.
- Line a large cake tin with greased paper.
- Tie brown paper around the outside of the tin.
- Place salt in a roasting tin (about in inch) and stand the cake tin on the top.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 1 or 2, and place the cake in the centre of the oven.
- Bake for 6 to7 hours.
- Leave in the tin until cool.
- Remove the paper and trim the cake of any burned edges.
- Prick the top and sprinkle with brandy.
- Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and store in a tin until mid december.
- Unwrap the cake, trim if required to get a smooth shape.
- Melt apricot jam and brush onto the cake. Roll out and cut marzipan to shape to cover all of the cake. (or just the top if prefered).
- When the marzipan is dry decorate with royal icing.
- (note – can be made a iced straight away of time is against you – just feed well with brandy after cooking)