Saturday, 17 December 2016

Orange and Cranberry Cake

with apricots and macadamia nuts

This loaf cake is based on the proportions of a madeira cake, rather than a sponge - equal quantities of butter, sugar and eggs, but a larger amount of flour. This makes the cake softer and richer than the more basic fruit loaf recipe I sometimes use, and the extra flour helps prevent any added fruits and nuts from sinking. I usually make these little loaves as an all-in-one mixture, to save time. For this cake, I was using up oddments from the storecupboard, including the remnanats of a pack of mixed macadamia nuts and dried cranberries, plus some extra cranberries from another pack, so I'm not sure of the exact weight of each individual ingredient, although there were more cranberries than anything else - as long as the total weight is around 150g the cake will be OK

100g softened butter
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g SR flour
zest of an orange, finely grated
milk to mix, if needed
150g of a mixture of dried cranberries, dried apricots and macadamia nuts

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a small (450g/1lb) loaf tin.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and orange zest into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the batter is well blended and smooth. Add a little milk if necessary to give a dropping consistency.
Fold in the dried fruit and nuts with a spoon, then transfer the mixture to the prepared tin.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a test probe comes out clean.

As I said a few posts back, cranberries and apricots is one of my favourite combinations of dried fruits. Here, the orange zest adds a freshness to the cake and the macadamia nuts give a contrasting texture.

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