We are cooking: Dundee Cake

Runs 117

As we mentioned earlier this month, we're never getting our bottoms botoxed, there would be no point, because the amount of cake we eat would make it a waste of time (not to mention the almond Magnums). So while others may be laid out by the pool receiving lustful glances for two weeks of the year, we're up mountains in windy, rainy but utterly beautiful Ireland, where once you have reached the summit there is only one thing to do, sit down and eat cake.

Wrapped up in our many layers of North Face walking kit, snug as bugs, no one can see our bodies anyway, so we might as well tuck in and we are indebted to our mate Mark (one of our honorary male readers) who made us this delicious Dundee cake. Mark is a fabulous cook and knocked this cake up prior to our mountain climb, the recipe comes from a local Letterkenny community cook book, which is a long way from Dundee, admittedly, but who cares when it tastes so good. It is the only cake to take climbing.

250g butter -room temperature

250g castor sugar

4 eggs

100g glace cherries

200g sultanas

200g raisins

rind of a lemon

two glugs of sherry

300g plain flour plus a pinch of salt

50g ground almonds

50g whole almonds

If you have the time, I soak the fruit in the sherry and a squeeze of orange juice for a couple of hours before cooking to plump them up. Doesn't matter if you can't. Also you are supposed to have candid peel in the original recipe (50g peel, 50g cherries), but I can't abide the stuff so doubled the glace cherries to 100g instead. Do what ever you prefer.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the remaining ingredients. Fold together throroughly and put into a lined cake tin, scatter (or carefully line up in pretty, perfectly aligned circles, whatever) the whole almonds on the top of the mixture . Cook for ages….mine took two and a half hours on 160c/gas 3/Aga simmering oven. If it starts to burn on top, cover with a couple of sheets of folded newspaper or greaseproof, what ever you have to hand.

Apparently you are supposed to hold off eating Dundee cake for a couple of days to let it 'settle'. Fat chance in this house. it tastes delicious warm and even better up an Irish mountain.

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