Usually on the first Sunday of November
finds me in the kitchen . . .
Sunday afternoon is nap time
(football and nap time!)
But, alas, the Chiefs played at 8:30 am today
And I was in the kitchen
making the Dundee cakes
Rather than a big cake,
I like to make the mini ones
One is usually perfect for tea
The first is cut for tea on St. Nicholas Day,
They need time in the freezer to "ripen"
Which is why the early November baking
But so many of the good things of Christmas
need to be made early --
the fruitcakes, the plum puddings
The Dundee Cakes!
Out of the oven, they're allowed to cool
before they're carefully wrapped and stored in the freezer.
It wouldn't be St. Nicholas Day
without a Dundee!!!
It's a recipe from a dear neighbor of long ago
Mrs. Boland's Dundee Cake
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2 T. fresh orange juice (I also add the zested peel)
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. blanched chopped almonds
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 c. raisins (I use a mixture of dark and golden)
1 1/2 c. currants (if I can't find them I just use 2 c. raisins -- one dark/one golden)
1/2 c. ctiron, chopped (I often use just candied orange peel)
1/2 c. candied cherries
Preheat oven to 275. Grease and flour 2 41/2 x 9 inch loaf pans. (I always use 4 small loaf pans)
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, mixing well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 5 mintues after each egg. Stir in orange juice, vanilla and almonds (this is when I stir in the zest).
Sift eh flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the fruit and mix by hand until well floured. Add the fruit to the butter/sugar mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Decorate with cherries and almonds in festive designs.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Check with doneness with a toothpick or cake tester.
The little cakes take a lot less time -- I just watch and pull them when the toothpick comes out clean.
DO NOT OVERBAKE! When the cakes are done, cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. When cool, wrap in aluminum foil and freeze.