Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A Traditional Sultana Cake - Sweet Teabread Type Recipe

Lemon glazed sultana cake recipe. Dense crumb and not too sweet.

"Tea ?" My grandmother lifted the old metal teapot; clad in it's warm knitted cosy; and gave the tea a swirl before pouring a steady stream into the china cup.

In my mind, I can see her now. No matter who or when visitors arrived at the door - she was always prepared and loved nothing more than having family arrive and feed them her home baked treats.

There was Sultana Cake or Belgian Loaf in the pantry in a tin. Home made coffee buns or ginger snaps in the cupboard. Caramel cake (you may know it as Millionaire's Shortbread) or tiffin bar (normally both) hidden at the back of the fridge. I've shared a few of these recipes and short really log some more.

When my Gran passed a few years ago, I was given her recipe book. It was and is in a sorry state and the pages are almost all detached. The spine is broken, the covers stained and torn. Despite this and the fact it rarely sees the light of day - it is very much loved. Handling it every now and again reminds me that through me, her recipes can live on...

As you can see - she seems to have "obtained" this recipe from somewhere back in 1962 and must have used it for around 40 years.

Personally, I've never been one for baking with margerine / Stork - but my gran seemed to and if it's good enough for Mary Berry....

Well - I gave this a go and used some Utterly Butterly which is a vegetable oil based spread instead of the butter. It turned out pretty much as I remember it. This is a fairly dense type teabread and I'm sure we used to have it slathered in salted butter. However, I figured a nice lemon glaze would work well

225g of white sugar
225g of butter or vegetable oil based spread
225g of sultanas (I soaked these in hot tea for 30mins prior to use)
285g of plain (cake) flour
55g self raising flour
6 eggs

I creamed the fat and sugar together, then one at a time, beat in 5 eggs.

Sift in flours, and mix until no lumps can be seen. Stir in drained sultanas, and follow by folding in the last egg as instructed by Gran !

Put into a lined 2lb silicone loaf mould or tin . Be sure to line way up the sides - this makes a BIG cake and the entire tin was full to the top before baking .....

I baked at 150deg C (Fan oven) for 95mins and it was perfectly done.

Remove from oven and make a glaze if desired. Remove cake from pan and stand on a wire rack. Trim paper to pan level, but leave on for now.

I used 100g of icing sugar, 50mls of fresh lemon juice and a little boiling water to make a very thick paste. Spoon (and spread) on to the top of the cake. Dont worry if it makes a mess and runs down the side a bit.

Once it starts to set, you can remove the baking paper from the lower part of the cake for a nice, tidy finish.

Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

This type of cake typically is best one or two days after baking - once it's stood in an airtight tin for a little while to mature. If you can wait that long....

Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com - June 2014 

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