Wholewheat Dundee Cake – my ode to Ireland

What do you do when

  1. You read Nora Roberts and want to take a porktey to county Clare
  2. The female protagonist bakes up a Dundee Cake for tea and stop everything to read up all about it. You desperately want to bake this Scottish Christmas favourite, but have none of ingredients- whiskey, ground almonds, all-purpose flour, candied peel, marmalade – that go into the making of one
  3. An old friend who dispenses the best life/career advice ever comes to town and you have promised to bake for her
  4. You have at your disposal some oranges, dried fruits and cane sugar, and exactly 90 minutes from start to putting the cake into a box to carry

Here’s what I did

  1. Adapt from a previous attempt at whole wheat cake
  2. Be a headless chicken in the kitchen grinding cinnamon, squeezing orange juice, deskinning almonds, sieving flour, running around
  3. Swear colourfully on burning my thumb blanching almonds
  4. Sigh with delight when this beautiful thing emerges from the oven

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This.is.it. This pile of soft crumbs is screaming to be baked. It is so good looking that I hurt my heart (and my burnt hand) to cut it up. It is so delicious that I wish I could have every single one of you taste a slice. As I finish the last of it tomorrow, I shall shed a tear.

I urge you – please bake this

Ingredients: 100 gm butter, 135 gm cane sugar, 2 tbsp honey (increase if you like your cakes sweet), 2 tbsp orange juice, ¼ cup yoghurt, 2 eggs, zest of 1 orange, 1 tsp each of vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, dried ginger powder, and baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, 175 gm of whole wheat flour, two handfuls of dried fruits (I used a mix of chopped dates, cranberries, raisins, black sultanas, figs), enough almonds to cover the surface of a cake (I guesstimated this by dumping the almonds into the empty baking tin)

Method:

  • Blanch almonds by placing them in boiling hot water (for about a minute). Put them back in cold water for a few seconds and rinse. Pat dry and deskin
  • Soften the butter using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, for thirty second or so. Add the cane sugar and cream it
  • Add the other liquids – orange juice, honey and yoghurt and whizz some more. Periodically, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Batter shall resemble baby puke, do not be alarmed, it is the yogurt.
  • Add the eggs one by one, mixing in between. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix. Follow with the cinnamon powder and dry ginger powder. Mix.
  • Add the baking soda and baking powder to the flour and sieve manically as many times as you can. I think I sieved 6-7 times. This is the secret sauce, so don’t skip the sieving!
  • Add the dry mix to the wet, slowly. Mix till it beautifully comes together into this golden coloured batter. This shall take barely a minute on a low setting.
  • Gently fold in the dry fruits by hand
  • Pour batter into a pre-greased 8 inch pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 c

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3 thoughts on “Wholewheat Dundee Cake – my ode to Ireland

  1. For spice cakes and cookies with ginger etc a sugar called Sucanat would be better than Muscavado .. Also jaggery is made from Java plants while Muscavado is from cane sugar so not really the same thing 🙂

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    1. Where do you get Sucanut, never heard of it, thanks for the tip! And lol@the jaggery cane sugar mix up. Used cane sugar for this bake (made an error copying the recipe from the previous jaggery version)

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