3rd August 2012
My apologies, I baked this cake over three weeks ago now – a day before we went on holiday, as I wanted some cake to take with us! A fortnight in rural Cornwall without cake and no facilities to bake a cake with would not be good and I refuse to buy cakes from supermarkets, so unless I found a lovely cake shop we would have to go without.
I can remember my grandma make a Pound Cake when I was younger and she did put a pound of everything into it and the cake was huge, so I was glad to see that Mary had in fact halved the amount and it was in fact a ‘Half Pound Cake’.
The oven was put on to preheat as usual and a 20cm (8″) tin was lightly greased and the base lined with parchment.
Cherries were first up on the list. These had to be washed , dried and then halved. One of the most boring and time consuming jobs ever. I hate this part. Luckily there were a few spare cherries, so these were quickly eaten, which made the job a lot easier.
It was another all in one recipe from Mary, so in the bowl with the cherries went the softened butter, light muscovado sugar, 4 eggs, raisins, sultanas and the mixed spice. The last ingredient was brandy, so it was off to the cupboard under the stairs to locate the brandy. Once found a tablespoon was added to the other ingredients.
These were all beaten together, by hand I hasten to add, as I don’t think my little electric whisk would have coped very well with the amount of fruit and it was turned into the tin and levelled. A very quick cake to mix up and make – once you’ve dealt with the cherries!
Into the oven it went for two hours. I do love the smell of fruit cake cooking and it wasn’t long before the whole kitchen and house began to smell funnily enough of Christmas – I wonder if it was the brandy in the cake that made it smell that way! The cake was covered with a piece of parchment after an hour so that the top didn’t brown too much.
After two hours a skewer was put into the top of the cake to see whether or not it was done. It appeared to be, so it was taken out of the oven and left in the tin for approximately 30 minutes before turning it out. The parchment was peeled off and it was left to cool on the rack.
First thing my husband said when he came home from work and walked in the kitchen was, “have you been baking the Christmas cake already or things that bad you’ve hit the brandy?”. ?He said all he could smell in the kitchen was cake and brandy. There was only 1 tbsp of brandy in the cake, so I was surprised he could smell it – and no I hadn’t been hitting the brandy, I can’t stand the stuff!
The cake was duly wrapped up in parchment and taken away with us on holiday. I think it was my daughter who had the first slice. She loves fruit cake, well cake of any sort really and thought it was very good, in fact I’m sure for a few days she had a slice for breakfast!!
The photo, I’m afraid isn’t very good as I didn’t take it until we were away and I didn’t have any pretty plates to put it on, hence the reason it’s still sat in the parchment. Anyway it all disappeared so must have been good.