Sticky Prune and Date Cake
An unequivocal winner! Dark, sticky, very moist, keeps like a dream, has always been hugely popular with everyone who makes it.
|175g dates, stoned and chopped|
|125g ready-to-eat prunes, chopped|
|200g block butter|
|300g condensed milk|
|110g plain flour|
|110g wholemeal flour|
|pinch of salt|
|½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda|
|1 rounded tablespoon chunky marmalade|
|For the glaze:|
|1½ tablspoons marmalade|
|½ tablespoon water|
|Pre-heat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3|
|Need help with conversions?|
|A 20cm round loose-based cake tin, base and side lined|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
Begin by placing all the fruits, the butter, water and condensed milk in a saucepan, then simply bring it to the boil, stirring quite frequently to prevent it sticking.
Let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes exactly – still stirring occasionally and, whatever you do, don’t forget it!
Now transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, to cool off for about 30 minutes.
While it’s cooling, weigh out the flours, then sift them onto a plate, adding the salt and bicarbonate of soda. (When you sieve wholemeal flour there are usually some bits of bran left in the sieve, so just tip them back into the rest of the sieved flour.)
When the fruit mixture has cooled, stir the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into it, adding a nice round tablespoon of marmalade too.
Then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level it off with the back of a tablespoon and bake the cake on a lower shelf so that the top of the tin is aligned with the centre of the oven for 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Have a look halfway through, and if the top of the cake looks a bit dark put a double square of baking parchment on top to protect it.
Then let the cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning it out to cool on a wire tray.
When the cake is completely cold, gently heat the marmalade in a small saucepan with the water.
Then brush it all over the top of the cake.
Store in an airtight tin.
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I have fond memories of my friend Molly Owen, who gave me this recipe. On paper it may sound a bit unlikely, but just you wait.
Nothing very trendy or sexy here. We thought maybe time had moved on. But we were so wrong. This cake has a charm all of its own, top votes from tasters and fits the bill for everything – packed lunches, picnics or just a little treat with a cup of tea or
OK. It is an old-fashioned, very English kind of cake, and yes the cherries sometimes sink but believe me there are many people who are still very attached to it. If you’re one of these, we have found the old-fashioned creaming-block-butter method works
There has been a bit of toing and froing on this one, and a fifty-fifty split among our tasters. Some like them richer and very buttery, some like them drier and with a bit more crunch. I prefer the latter, but here you can make your own choice.
But which tradition is it? My grandparents claimed Yorkshire emphatically, while my Lancashire friends are just as emphatic. Either way I just love it, and because it’s so easy to make, if you haven’t yet tasted parkin I urge you to try it.
In the original book, and ever since, this has been one of my own top favourites, and has been hugely popular with everyone. But this time round we have used the all-in-one method, so it’s much easier.
There are a million and one versions of Dundee cake, so please don’t write to me and say this isn’t the real one! What I can guarantee is that this is a beautiful cake. It’s not rich and moist like a Christmas cake, but lighter and more crumbly in textur
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