500g dried fruit (raisins, dried apricots, prunes),
250ml of cooled strong black tea,
200g light brown sugar,
225g plain flour,
2 teaspoons baking powder,
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,
1/2 teaspoon allspice,
2 large eggs, lightly beaten,zest of one lime (or lemon),pinch of salt.
I got the idea of this cake from my mom. After reading the recipe and many positive comments, I really wanted to try baking it, I was also won over by the complete lack of oil in the recipe. The original cake is called “Yorkshire cake,” but I would call it “English Christmas Cake” or simply “Christmas Cake”, because the cake is very spicy, elegant and festive. Of course, I could not resist changing the recipe based on the ingredients that were available at that time.
1. Brew 250ml of strong black tea and cool it.
2.Thoroughly wash the fruit. The original recipe requires 700 grams of raisins, but I thought it would be much more fun and flavourful to substitute the raisins for dried apricots and prunes. I also thought 700 grams seemed a little too much, so I only used 500 grams of fruit.
3. Add the tea and sugar to the dried fruit. Stir to dissolve sugar, cover with foil or a lid and leave to soak overnight. Soak the fruit in the evening and bake the next morning. The original recipe uses 75ml of bourbon, rum or whiskey (any spirit except vodka can be used) but I like the idea of using tea.
4. The next morning, preheat the oven to 160 degrees and prepare the fruit. Cut the prunes in half and the apricots into fours.
5. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and allspice, add the lemon zest. Mix well.
6.Add the fruit and tea to the flour. Mix well.
7. Lightly whisk the eggs.
8. Add the eggs to the mix and stir well. The mixture will be quite thick.
9.Grease a cake mold and pour the batter in.
10. Bake at 160 degrees for 60-80 minutes, my cake took exactly 70 minutes. Move the cooked cake to a rack and allow to cool.
11. Once the cake has cooled remove it from the mold. Use a sharp knife around the edges to easily remove the cake. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).
12. This cake is beautifully festive with a wonderful amber colour. I love it’s gorgeous aroma, rich complex taste from the spices and tea, and the soft texture. I’m glad I replaced the raisins with apricots and prunes, it was more flavourful and I really like prunes in baked deserts. Once I tried the first piece I wanted to treat all my friends to a slice for Christmas, which luckily isn’t too far away 😉
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