New England Wedding Cake

An old American recipe for a very rich and moist wedding cake, New England Wedding Cake, as with most fruit cakes, improves with keeping. When storing the cake, before wrapping it in aluminium foil, pierce the top and bottom with a skewer and dribble

4 tablespoons of brandy over both surfaces.

12-

2 lb. currants

1 lb. sultanas or raisins

1 lb. glace cherries

10 fl. oz. brandy

10 fl. oz. medium dry sherry

1 lb. plus

1 teaspoon butter

1 lb. flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

Serve this fabulous New England Soda Bread warm with lots of butter and cheese.

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 lb. sugar

12 eggs, separated

4 oz. candied citron peel, very thinly sliced

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cur-rants, sultanas or raisins and cherries with the brandy and sherry. Cover the bowl and set it aside to soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With the teaspoon of the butter, lightly grease a 12-inch cake tin. Line the inside of the tin with a double layer of grease-proof or waxed paper. Cut out a strip of heavy brown paper 1-inch wider than the depth of the tin and long enough to fit round the tin twice. Tie the brown paper around the tin. Place a double thickness of brown paper or newspaper on a baking sheet wide enough to hold the cake tin. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

Sift the flour, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add

1 tablespoon of the flour mixture with each egg yolk. Using a metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the reserved fruit with the brandy and sherry.

In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks.

With the metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Cover the bottom of the cake tin with one-quarter of the cake mixture. Place one-third of the citron over the top in a layer. Continue making layers in the same way until all the cake mixture and citron have been used up, ending with a layer of the cake mixture.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to very cool 275 °F (Gas Mark 1, 140°C) and bake for another hour.

Check the cake and, if it is browning too much, place a piece of aluminium foil over the top. Cracks may have appeared in the top of the cake, but these will close up when the cake is cooled. Continue to bake for another 2 hours, .or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin until it is com-pletely cold. Remove the greaseproof or waxed paper from the bottom and sides of the cake.

Leave the cake on the rack for at least 6 hours before wrapping in aluminium foil and storing.

Serve New Haven Baked Aubergines with salad for lunch.

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