Mkate Wa Mayai


Mkate Wa Mayai (oom-kah-tay way my-yigh) is a plain but delicious cake from the coastlands of East Africa. In Swahili the name literally means cake, or bread, with eggs. Serve it warm, cut into slices and spread with Cinnamon Butter, or let it cool completely before serving..


1 teaspoon butter

8 oz. plus

1 tablespoon flour

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

8 oz. castor sugar

6 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 egg whites, stiffly beaten

2 oz. currants, soaked in

1 tablespoons sweet sherry for minutes

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Using the teaspoon of butter, grease an 8-inch square cake tin.

Dust it with the tablespoon of flour, tipping and rotating the tin. Knock out any excess flour. Set aside.

Sift the remaining flour, salt and baking powder into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together with a wire whisk or rotary beater until the mixture is pale and frothy. Add the vanilla essence and beat for a further 30 seconds.

With a metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour mixture until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cake has just set.

Drain the currants and discard the sherry. Sprinkle the currants over the top of the cake and continue baking for a further 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the tin from the oven and leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool.

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