Friday, 12 April 2013

Rum & Raisin Cake

Despite being a classic ice-cream combination, I had never thought of extending the marriage of rum and raisin to baking. Although it is difficult to imagine how the two flavours, particularly rum, work in cake-form, you must take my word for it - the results are simply heavenly. The crunchy golden exterior of the cake, deliciously caramelised from a pre-bake sprinkling of brown sugar, is contrasted by the extraordinarily light sponge which lies beneath. Although separating eggs and whisking up the whites seems like a faff, adding a little extra time and washing up compared to your bog-standard cake mixture, the resulting cloud-like sponge is definitely worth the effort. This sweet, boozy cake would also make an excellent, lighter alternative to a fruit cake, containing only small amounts of raisins and chopped walnuts, and with the added benefit of cooking in just an hour or under.

You will need...

- 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin
- 175g raisins
- 6 tbsp dark rum
- 275g softened butter/marg
- 175g caster sugar
- 4 eggs - separated
- 4 tbsp milk
- 1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 275g plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 50g chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar 

You will need to...

- Preheat oven to 180C, line and grease cake tin.
- Soak raisins in rum for half an hour. Drain, RESERVING RUM.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well.
- Add reserved rum, milk and vanilla, then fold in flour and baking powder.
- Whisk egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold into mixture a third at a time, adding the raisins and chopped nuts with the last third.
- Pour mixture into tin and sprinkle the top with soft brown sugar. Bake for 45 mins - 1 hour, until golden brown on top and firm in the middle. 
- Allow to cool in tin.

Enjoy! C x

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