Perhaps it is my Scottish heritage that makes this traditional cake so enjoyable with afternoon tea. The dry cake is complemented by dollops of imported English clotted cream, also known as Creme Fraiche.
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup chopped candied orange zest or candied citrus zest
- 1/2 cup finely chopped blanched or raw almonds
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated or minced fresh lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated or minced fresh orange zest
- 4 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Whole blanched almonds for decorating
- Candied or glazed cherries, halved, for decorating
Companion recipe: Creme Fraiche
Position the racks so that the cake will bake in the middle of an oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
In a bowl, combine the currants, raisins, candied zest, and chopped almonds. Add1/4 cup of the flour and stir to coat the fruits and nuts well with the flour; set aside.
Place the remaining 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt together in a strainer or sifter and sift into a bowl. Repeat the process two more times. Whisk to mix well and set aside.
In the bowl of a strand mixer fitted with a flat beater, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 45 seconds. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar, then stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the fresh lemon and orange zest and continue beating at medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the eggs and beat well; stop at least once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and blend well.
Using the mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in 3 equal batches until well incorporated. Fold in the fruit-and-nut mixture until well incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Arrange whole almonds and cherry halves in a decorative pattern over the top. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center with your fingertip and wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.
Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
441 calories; 20g total fat; 112mg cholesterol; 143mg sodium; 61g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 7g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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