Tag Archives: Dried fruit

Dundee Cake.

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I am massively behind on my blogging so this cake at the time of baking was pretty seasonal, what with it being Burns Night the following day. Irrespective of timing this cake is brilliant, it combines my love of fruit cake and neat circles, it stores for AGES (seriously ages, Dan Lepard had kept his for a whole year), and makes such a huge cake so there’s definitely spare for sharing. I also got to use some of my marmalade from christmas, so it was completely homemade!

I used Dan Lepard’s recipe but found I had to cook it for a bit longer, maybe that’s because my oven isn’t the greatest, but as it cooks at such a low heat it’s very hard to burn, so don’t be too tentative to keep it in the oven for longer.

Dundee Cake (adapted from Dan Lepard)

Ingredients:

175g soft unsalted butter
150g caster sugar, plus extra to make the glaze
Finely grated zest of an orange
250g plain flour
3 large eggs
100g marmalade (It doesn’t need to expensive stuff)
100g ground almonds
375g mixed dried fruit
200g glacé peel or cherries (I used peel as I detest glacé cherries!)
1 tsp baking powder
100g blanched almonds for the top

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/335°F/gas 3. Place in a large mixing bowl the caster sugar and softened butter, with an electric whisk beat until pale and fluffy.

2) Add the orange zest and 75g of the plain flour, beat well. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Once mixed thoroughly. beat in the marmalade.

3) Beat in the ground almonds, add the remainder of the flour and the baking powder, ensuring to mix well.

4) Fold in the dried fruit. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. when lining the sides leave an excess of 10cm of parchment paper.

5) Pour the mixture into the tin, smoothing the top and making sure the mixture has no air pockets.

6) Scrunch a square of tin foil, unfold, and then sit on top of the tin (the excess parchment paper will hold it over the cake mixture, creating a lid to keep the steam in).

7) Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

8)Whilst the cake is baking, place the almonds in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes, drain and dry with a tea towel. This prevents them from browning too quickly when you put them on the cake.

9) After the 45minutes cooking time remove the cake from the oven, and lower the temperature 150°C/fan 130°C/300°F/gas 2. Place the almonds on the top in a circle pattern starting from the centre, with the flat side of the almonds facing down into the cake.

10) Return to the oven, with the foil now removed, for 60-90 minutes (mine needed the full 90 minutes). Place  a skewer into the cake, it should leave a few crumbs on your skewer as it’s not quite cooked yet. Remove from the oven and glaze with a mixture of milk and caster sugar. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. It keeps well if stored in brown parchment paper and a cake tin.

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Bread Christmas Style aka Stollen and a Christmas Round Up.

Christmas starts for me with a mug of Glühwein and a slice of stollen so this year, after a year of bread making,  I decided I should make my own. After much research and deliberation I decided upon a Dan Lepard recipe, I’m obsessed with his guardian website page and his recipes are always easy to follow and informative. Bread is his speciality and his knowledge seemingly knows no bounds, so I felt like I was in safe hands having never attempted to make stollen before. His recipe uses a ten second kneading method which is repeated several times. I was dubious about this at first as the dough was very moist and sticky, but I persevered and the end result was great so I will no longer doubt it in future. The recipe I used yielded two large loaves, which can be frozen and do store well, but you may want to half the recipe if you’re already too full of christmas fare.

Stollen. (adapted from Dan Lepard)

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Ingredients:

Dan Lepard’s recipe uses the ‘sponge’ method, where the yeast is left to ferment in a separate mixture before being added to the main bulk of the ingredients.

For the Sponge:

50g strong white bread flour IMG_0690
1 tsp caster sugar
2 level tsp easy-blend yeast
100 ml warm milk

For the Dough:

450g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 tsp salt
50g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 tbsp spiced rum
175g warm milk
250g raisins
125g mixed peel
250g golden marzipan
melted butter and icing sugar to finish

For variation you could add other dried fruit in place of raisins, such as dried cranberries or apricots

Method:

1) For the sponge; mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, leave to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes, the mixture should be bubbling.

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2) Meanwhile, place the flour for the dough in a  wide mixing bowl with the cinnamon, lemon zest, icing sugar and salt. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until all the lumps disappear.

3) After the sponge has been left for 30 minutes, beat the egg, rum and warm milk into it and  then pour this into the flour mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir everything together. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for 10 mins.

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4) After 10 minutes lightly oil the work surface and your hands and gently knead the dough for 10 seconds. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave for another 10 mins. Repeat this light-kneading twice more at 10-min intervals. Once done, leave the dough covered in a warm place for a further 30 mins.

5) Then divide the dough into two pieces and form each in to a ball. On a lightly dusted work surface, roll each ball of dough out into an oval using a rolling pin, roughly 2 cm thick. Take the marzipan, divide it in half, and roll each piece into a sausage the same length as each oval of dough. Place the marzipan along the length of the dough, and then fold the dough in half so that the marzipan is covered. Press gently around where the marzipan is  to seal the marzipan in. Place each stollen on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, leaving space between each of them so they don’t merge when proving. Place the tray in a carrier bag to create a pocket of warmth and moisture and leave in a warm place for about an hour, or until the stollen have almost doubled in volume. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

IMG_06956) Bake the loaves on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 mins, reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and cook for a further 20 mins. Like bread, turn over a tap to see if the loaves are hollow and thus cooked. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. While still warm, brush each stollen with melted butter and dredge heavily with icing sugar, then wrap in greaseproof paper and tie with string. Store in a air-tight container. The loaves keep for up to two weeks. If making again I would definitely half the recipe, although I did make a stollen based bread and butter pudding with the second loaf.

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So I’ve been pretty bad with blogging this festive season, bad internet coupled with busy christmas plans has lead to a neglecting my duties. So here’s a cheeky photo montage of christmas baking and general foodie-ness. Highlights include the two Christmas Puddings  made earlier in december, puff pastry mince pies, my new gorgeous anthropologie measuring spoons, chocolate orange star biscuits, turkey pie, my new le creuset pestle and mortar, Moran family pickles, red onion and cheddar soda bread and stollen bread and butter pudding.

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