Our Favourite Fruit Cake - Dundee / by Linda Klimack

dundee

This booze-soaked fruit cake was a favourite of Winston Churchill. Well, I didn't personally make it for him, but we hear he liked this type of cake. And now after that shining celebrity endorsement, I'm sure you'll all be rushing to the pantry, so here's what you'll need:

1 cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup currants
1 cup raisins
¾ cup mixed glazed fruit
½ cup glazed cherries
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
¾ cup whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoon corn syrup
½ cup Scotch Whisky or Canadian Rye

Bake the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 300℉.
  • Line the bottom and sides of an 8" springform pan or similar straight sided cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for about 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and beat each egg until well blended.
  • Sift together the flour with baking powder.
  • Add to the butter mixture and mix well.
  • Add the currants, raisins, glazed fruit and rind. Mix until the pieces are coated and do not stick to each other.
  • Pour the batter into the lined cake pan and level and smooth the top.
  • At the outer edge of the cake pan, start a circle of blanched whole almonds with the long dimension toward the center. Make as many concentric rings of almonds as will fit the top of the cake. 
  • Press the almonds into the batter slightly to ensure they stay put.
  • Bake the cake for 2 hours or until top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool for 5 minutes on a rack and then gently remove the cake from the pan and replace the cake on the rack.

Glaze the cake and get it drunk

  • Brush the corn syrup over the top. If the syrup is too thick, you may want to gently warm it.
  • When the cake has cooled completely it can be wrapped in cheesecloth or an old cotton tea towel that has been thoroughly washed. 
  • The cake can then be drizzled with the whisky.
  • Wrap the cloth covered cake tightly in either tin foil or a sturdy plastic bag. 

The cake can then be stored indefinitely and it will improve with aging. You may want to add a second dose of whiskey after a couple of weeks. Enjoy!