Monday, 30 May 2011

Marmalade Cake

Recipe Number Forty Two:  Page 74.

For some reason this recipe has appealed to me for a while, even though I am not a fan of marmalade! It could be because the picture of Mary Berry's marmalade cake looks delicious, or it may be due to glacé cherries appearing first in the list of ingredients that caught my eye, I adore glacé cherries! Last week Neil's parents popped round and I was asked if any of Mary's recipes required marmalade. Neil's granny, who is 91 years young, was worried about using a particular jar of marmalade as it was best before January! These things don't worry me and I don't pass on freebies so I happily took the jar.

I opened my tub of glacé cherries and snaffled a few as I weighed out the required amount. I sliced the rather small quantity of cherries into quarters, gave them a rinse and then laid them out on some kitchen towel to dry. I had forgotten to leave the butter out of the fridge to soften so the next job was to weigh out the butter and then give it a short, sharp blast in the microwave. I got a bit sidetracked and forgot about it. By the time I opened the microwave door in panic, there was a small lump sat in a pool of melted butter – whoops! I left it to one side while I weighed everything else, hoping it might solidify a bit. I needed to add some dried fruit, sultanas and currants. Currants were fine as I had a brand new packet but I had unknowingly run out of sultanas. I popped to the shop; I am always having to trudge over there to collect last minute and necessary ingredients! As it is just a small village shop, they don't always have that much choice, so I wasn't surprised to find that a small bag of mixed dried fruit was all they could offer. I spent some time picking out the sultanas by hand. I know I should have just shoved in what I had, but I always want to follow the recipe to the letter, so I know that I have given it a fair test.

I poured the runny butter in with the fruit, flour and eggs etc. The last ingredient was the all important marmalade. I was a little surprised to see I only needed a tablespoon; for some reason I thought I would need more. Mary does warn at the beginning of the recipe not to overdo the marmalade as it can cause the fruit in the cake to sink to the bottom. So I was very careful! Once I had mixed everything together, I put the rather thick cake mixture into the loaf tin and then into the heated oven. As with most fruit cakes, it took quite some time in the oven on a low heat. After the hour and a half I checked on the cake and was pleased to find it was cooked through and not burnt – hooray, a first time for everything!

I needed another tablespoon of marmalade to top the now cold cake. I warmed the marmalade in a saucepan and then spooned it onto the cake. Once it was set I cut Neil and myself a slice. It would have been hard to notice the taste of marmalade if we had not known it was in the cake. It was very sweet and fruity. The texture was light, but maybe a little dry. The marmalade on top was a nice touch and made up for the lack of the marmalade flavour in the cake itself; but it was very sticky! This was a really nice fruit loaf that was easy to make. If you are not a marmalade fan please still try it - I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

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