Traditional Dundee Cake
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 texture.
|225g plain flour|
|1 level teaspoon baking powder|
|150g spreadable butter|
|150g golden caster sugar|
|3 large eggs|
|1 dessertspoon milk, if needed|
|50g glace cherries, rinsed dried and cut into halves|
|50g mixed candied peel, finely chopped|
|2 level tablespoons ground almonds|
|grated zest of 1 orange|
|grated zest of 1 lemon|
|For the topping:|
|60g whole blanched almonds|
|Pre-heat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3|
|Oven temperatures and Conversions|
|Click here for information|
|An 18cm loose-based round tin, buttered with base and side lined|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
First of all sift the flour and baking powder into a roomy mixing bowl, lifting the sieve quite high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down. Then simply add the butter, caster sugar and eggs, and, using an electric hand whisk, combine them for about 1–2 minutes until you have a smooth dropping consistency.
If it seems too dry, add a dessertspoon of milk.
Next fold in all the other ingredients: currants, sultanas, cherries, mixed peel, ground almonds and orange and lemon zest. Now spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, spreading it out evenly with the back of the spoon.
Then, carefully, arrange the whole almonds in concentric circles over the top – but drop them on very lightly (if you press them down too hard they will disappear during the cooking).
Place the cake near the centre of the oven and bake for 1¾ hours or until the centre is firm and springy to touch. Allow it to cool before taking it out of the tin.
Dundee cake keeps very well in an airtight tin and tastes better if it’s kept a few days before cutting.
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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
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.
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