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A fruit cake traditionally made for Lent or Easter

Make the Almond Paste first. Ingredients

MIXTURE 8 oz plain flour A pinch of salt and of baking powder 2 oz rice flour 8 oz sultanas 8 oz currants 4 oz glacé cherries, halved (rinsed and dried on paper towel )

1oz candied peel, finely sliced or chopped 8 oz butter 8 oz caster sugar

Method – Almond Paste

1. Mix the ground almonds and sugar together, then beat in the eggs and add the almond essence 2. Roll into a ball and knead the paste until smooth 3. Divide in two, put half into the cake mixture, and make the rest into balls to put around the edge of the cake when it is cold, as the traditional Easter decoration

4. Fill the centre with a little warm glacé icing, and, if desired, decorate with marzipan fruits. METHOD – Mixture

1. Prepare an 8-inch cake tin (line with greaseproof/baking paper) 2. Sift the flours with the salt and baking powder 3. Cream the butter with the lemon rind, then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy 4. Beat in the egg yolks (see footnote) 5. Whip the egg whites until stiff 6. Fold in a third of the flour, then the egg whites alternating with the rest of the flour and the fruit

7. Put half the mixture into the cake tin, spreading a little up the sides of the tin 8. Roll half the almond paste into a smooth round and lay it on the mixture, then put the rest of the mixture into the tin. 9. Bake at 150Cº for 2½ hrs (cover with double thickness kitchen paper for the last ½ hour if needed)

10. Partially cool the cake in the tin before turning onto a wire rack. Enjoy !

4 eggs, separated, but see footnote* Grated rind of 2 lemons

ALMOND PASTE 9 oz ground almonds 9 oz caster sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1 tsp almond essence

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