I have been a fan of Dan Lepard ever since I bought a signed copy of his book, Baking with Passion at Books for Cooks in Notting Hill a number of years ago.
Dan, an Australian, is a superb baker, a champion of Marmalade and travels the world baking and judging. Marmalade in Japan would you believe.
He and I have a little contact on Twitter and, when I saw this Cake in The Guardian, I wrote and asked him whether I could use it on my website. The generosity of the man. showed in his instant reply.
With Easter almost upon us, this is your ideal Simnel Cake.
Rich with cream, gives the edge to this extra-soft fruit cake that’s ready to ice and decorate as you please.
Dan Lepard : Classic Burnt-Sugar Caramel Fruit Cake
200g caster sugar
150ml double cream
50g black treacle or molasses
Finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
4 tsp mixed spice
100g unsalted butter
3 medium eggs
250g strong white flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g each currants, raisins and chopped prunes (or figs)
400g natural glacé cherries
200g shelled, halved walnuts
Put the sugar and 50ml water in a saucepan and boil hard for five to six minutes, until it cooks to a dark reddish caramel. Pour in the cream – stand back in case it spits – then remove from the heat and stir in the honey, treacle, zest and spice. Add the butter and beat through as it melts. Pour into a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour and soda until smooth. Stir in the fruit and nuts.
Line the base and sides of a round 18cm diameter cake tin with two or three layers of nonstick baking paper, and spoon in the mix. Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-assisted)/335F/gas mark 3 and bake for two hours, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Read more about Dan Lepard – CLICK HERE