Tomorrow is my Mother-in-Law’s birthday and she asked for a cake as her present. As she is a keen baker, I felt that I needed to step up to the occassion and produce something a bit different; something special that encompasses both a bit of the giver (me) and a bit of the receiver (her).
She is partial to a bit of fruit cake and, as she was enthusiastic about the Classic Fruit Cake I made last Christmas, I thought that this would be a good place to start. I was raised in the North of England and therefore turned to my latest culinary acquisition, The National Trust/Good Housekeeping “Complete British Cookbook” for inspiration. Westmoreland used to be a county in it’s own right, in the North West of England. In 1974 it was incorporated into the county of Cumbria (home of the Lake District and Beatrix Potter), but the Westmoreland Pepper Cake remains!
This is not a difficult cake to make and I will report on how it tastes tomorrow!
Ingredients: (for a deep sided 18cm/7 inch cake tin)
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 75g (3oz) raisins
- 75g (3oz) currants
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- a large pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 medium egg, beaten
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C for a fan oven), gas mark 6. Grease and line the base of a spring-form round cake tin with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter, fruit, sugar and 150ml (1/4 pint) of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then let cool slightly.
3. Put the flour, spices, salt and pepper into a large mixing bowl and gently stir in the fruit mixture, milk and egg. Mix thoroughly, but do not beat the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 50 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown. Turn out of the tin and let cool on a wire rack.