I have only ever made two cakes in my life and this is the second of them. :-) The first, a simple cherry cake got scoffed before I had a chance to reach for the camera. This one from an old recipe book, cribbed with a slight twist, was a little more ambitious and full of ingredients that I like, so I gave it a whirl. Apart from having to Google ‘How to roll marzipan’, everything went pretty smoothly if somewhat slowly as it was all new to me. My wife preferred the cherry cake, but she did like the photo.
Photographed by a N.E. facing window in my living room.
Fruit Brazil Butter Cake
175g (6oz) Butter
175g (6oz) Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs, beaten
50g (2oz) Glazed Cherries or Candied Lemon Peel, finely chopped
125g (4oz) Dried Apricots cut into small pieces
125g (4oz) Sultanas
125g (4oz) Brazil Nuts, roughly chopped
125g (4oz) Plain Flour
125g (4oz) Self Raising Flour
Apricot jam, sieved and melted
Zest of 1 Lemon
250g (8oz) Marzipan and Brazil Nuts to decorate
Line a 20.5cm (8 inch) round cake tin or a long cake tin with buttered greaseproof paper, or grease the inside of the tin and dust with flour.
Whisk the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating all the time.
Mix the chopped cherries, apricots, sultanas, chopped nuts and lemon zest together.
Sift the plain and self-raising flours and fold into the whisked mixture, then add the fruit and nuts. Spoon into the prepared tin.
Bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 1¼ hours (cover with foil after 40 minutes if the top is becoming too brown). Cool a little then turn out onto a wire rack.
Heat the apricot jam and sieve it in to a small bowl. Brush the top of the cake with the apricot glaze, and then cover with rolled-out marzipan. I found that rolling it between two sheets of cling film saves a lot of woe. Trim and crimp the edges and cut a diamond pattern. Place a sliced nut in each square. Grill the cake carefully until evenly browned.
Note that candied lemon peel can be used in place of the glazed cherries for an individual touch of lemon tang.
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 48mm
Exposure: 1/2 sec at f/18
Lighting: Window Daylight
Post Processing: Photoshop CS3
© 2009 John Hooton Photography