Sour Milk Orange Cake

A very different fruit and nut dessert cake, Sour Milk Orange Cake contains dates and walnuts and has a bitter-sweet orange topping.6 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, softened

10 oz. plus

1 tablespoon flour

8 fl. oz. milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

6 oz. dates, stoned and chopped

8 oz. sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 oz. chopped walnuts

4 fl. oz. fresh orange juice finely grated rind of

1 orange

2 tablespoons sugar

10 fl. oz. double cream

Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C). With the teaspoon of butter, grease a medium-sized ovenproof ring mould. Sprinkle in the tablespoon of flour and tip and rotate the ring mould to distribute the flour evenly, knocking out any excess. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice. Stir the dates into the soured milk and set aside to soak.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Sift in the remaining flour, the soda and baking powder and fold them in. Stir in the walnuts and the sour milk and date mixture. Spoon the mixture into the ring mould and place the mould in the oven.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove the mould from the oven. Turn the cake out on to a wire rack. While the cake is still hot, pour over the orange juice and sprinkle over the orange rind and sugar. Leave ‘the cake to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream with a wire whisk or rotary beater until it forms stiff peaks. Transfer the cooled cake to a serving dish and spoon the cream into the centre. Serve at once.

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